Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Kevin Pietersen evokes strong feelings. His decision to play for England instead of his native South Africa led to shouts of ‘traitor’ from many of his countrymen. The tattoo of ‘three lions’ looked like an attempt to please the people of England. His coloured hair attracted a fair bit of curiosity as well as astonishment.

His recent autobiography was anything but appreciated. Peter Oborne calls it a “premature autobiography” and states, “this book is a study in narcissism, and should be avoided at all costs by people who care about the game of cricket”(Cricinfo Magazine, June 2007).

KP was roundly criticized for his recent utterances on ‘mental fatigue’. For someone who played little cricket, the talk of fatigue was really, surprising. Some critics point a finger at a model with whom Pietersen has a relation.

Mockery was made after KP claimed his mastery over Warne. In the worst Ashes in a long time, Warne proved to be the better player like the other Aussies.

But in the midst of all these events, Pietersen has performed magnificently. He has accepted the challenges thrown by all kinds of bowlers. Only Bradman had a better average in his first 25 test matches. The hundred in the first test at Lords’ was almost good enough to give his team a win over India. The series has only begun and things look ominous from India’s point of view.

KP makes a mockery of the opposition attacks, until something silly happens. Time and again, Pietersen tries an outrageous shot to be dismissed. This is a particular occurrence in the one-dayers and that is one reason why England does so badly in the limited overs contests. The confidence and the swagger come from the undoubted talent that the man possesses. He gives the impression of someone who gets bored very easily. That is something that does not make someone look cool.

Let us salute Kevin Pietersen the batsman, if not the man.


Anonymous said...

It is amusing to see quite a few critics only begrudgingly acknowledge Pietersen's brilliance. Apart from his apparent vanity, his slightly unorthodox methods don't go down well either with conservative commentators. He's worth his weight in gold and try as Australian media might to spread canards about his selfishness/aloofness/whatever, he did nothing to worsen England's plight in the Ashes.

English cricket definitely benefited from South Africa's short sighted policies. As a cricketer, one's primary goal should be to play at the highest levels. As for patriotism, what does it have to do with cricket anyway?

Nanda Kishore

Anonymous said...

It's pretty hilarious to see sundry cricketers being signed up to 'write' autobiographies. Next thing you know Sreesanth or Shaun Tait will come out with one. No disrespect, but I can't imagine these folks have a lot to say that could be enlightening :) But I guess the problem is a ever more pervasive vacuous culture all around.