Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 2nd 2015 Contents A46
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Kevin Pietersen believes being dropped as
England s one-day captain might be a bless-
ing in disguise for Alastair Cook.
Cook was dropped on December 19---just
two months before February s World Cup---
after a dismal 2014 with the bat in which he
hit just one 50 in 20 ODI innings and averaged
"I actually think it is really good for his
cricket that he s been given a bit of a break
this winter," Pietersen said while commentating
on the Big Bash League in Australia. "I of
course feel sorry for the guy. He s been put
under a hell of a lot of pressure.
"But he can go back and have a real look
at his game now and come back stronger in
Cook s struggles haven t been limited to
one-day cricket, with his last Test century
coming against New Zealand over 18 months
Pietersen feels a spell away from the game
could have him back firing in Tests, as he con-
tinues as captain in the longer format.
"He s scored 25 Test hundreds for England,"
Pietersen said. "No mug goes out there and
does that. He ll be England s greatest run-
scorer---I ve said it for a long time---and I want
him to be, he s a good guy. And he s key for
England in Tests in starting the innings off
Commentating on the Adelaide Strikers
eight-wicket win over the Hobart Hurricanes
on New Year s Eve, Pietersen also reflected on
his own year.
The 34-year-old was part of the England
team whitewashed 5-0 by Australia in the
Ashes and was then axed from the England
set-up, after which he released a controversial
"It has been a brutal 2014 for me," Pietersen
said. "So I just want to look ahead positively
to next year, focus on my cricket and see what
it can bring."
Michael Carberry s maiden Big Bash
League 50 proved in vain as Perth Scorchers
slipped to a 20-run defeat to the Sydney
Thunder at the WACA.
The Hampshire opener hit 69 not out off
48 balls as the defending champions rallied
from 41-4 to 159-5 but still fell well short
of the Thunders tally of 179-3, which fea-
tured 70 from Jacques Kallis and 16 no off
12 balls from England s new one-day captain
The Thunder, who chose to bat first as
they sought to avoid a third successive loss,
lost Andrew McDonald cheaply when he
skied Jason Behrendorff to midwicket but
Kallis -- strong either side of the wicket as
well as down the ground - was quickly into
The imperious South African put on 74
in 8.3 overs with Aiden Blizzard, who blasted
a couple of boundaries off Matt Dixon s sec-
ond over on his way to 47 off 31 balls before
clunking Andrew Tye to mid-off.
Kallis brought up his fifty off 40 balls and
pushed on before picking out long on as he
attempted to add to his boundary tally of
nine fours and two sixes from 70 balls.
His downfall made it 138-3 and brought
Morgan to the crease with just four overs
of the innings left, a cut four off Behrendorff
and another boundary down the ground off
Yasir Arafat the highlights of his short time
at the crease.
Mike Hussey (36no off 21) kept the
momentum up through to the end of the
innings as 48 runs came off the last five
overs to ensure that the Scorchers would
have to chase an above-par target of 180 to
continue their recent upturn in form.
The Scorchers, who had never lost to the
Thunder in their three previous BBL meet-
ings, made a poor start to their chase when
the dangerous Michael Klinger was bowled
through the gate by a Nathan Hauritz deliv-
ery from around the wicket that straight-
Fellow opener Marcus Harris followed
soon after, bowled by Josh Lalor as he aimed
a huge heave over midwicket and the home
side s plight worsened when Kallis, who
bowled 10 dot balls in his opening two overs,
turned the screw by picking up the wickets
of skipper Adam Voges and Ashton Turner
in quick succession.
Hauritz spilled a simple chance offered
by Sam Whiteman (16) in the deep when
he had just five and paid the price when the
batsman launched him for a huge straight
six, but the spinner earned quick revenge
by taking the pace off his next delivery --
Chris Hartley effecting a simple stumping.
Carberry initially struggled to find his
timing but kept the score ticking over, a
top-edged pull for six off Pat Cummins
helping him to post a 39-ball 50.
Ashton Agar (31 not out off 27) enjoyed
a life on four when he swung Kallis out to
the midwicket rope, the ball bursting through
Morgan s hands to go for six.
But the run-rate was always against the
Scorchers and the Thunder duly chalked up
their second victory of the campaign.
Matt Prior has
not given up on
playing for Eng-
missed the second
half of this year due
to an Achilles
out of contention
for February s
says he wants to be
part of a massive 2015 for his country which
features five Ashes Tests.
"For an England cricketer, it s the pin-
nacle," said Prior, who made the most recent
of his 79 Test appearances against India at
Lord s in July.
"It s the biggest series and everything is
intensified by 10 or 100. There s a lot to
look forward to."
Prior -- a three-time Ashes winner with
England in 2009, 2010-11 and 2013 - aver-
aged just 17.83 in the three Tests he played
in the 2013-14 series, which Australia
The 32-year-old admits England will
have their work cut out to regain the Ashes
from an Australian team that has just
regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by
beating India but believes the humiliation
of last winter s whitewash will spur Alastair
Cook s side on.
"We failed so miserably last time," said
Prior, "that there is a burning desire in
every English cricketer to make up for that
very, very poor performance.
"It s a new team; it s a team that has no
scars or ghosts from that 5-0 beating. We re
on home soil too -- that makes a huge dif-
"Ultimately it s going to be a huge, tough
challenge; it always is in an Ashes series
and we re going to need our big players to
For now, Prior is focused on rehabilitation
and hopes to be fit to play a part in Sussex s
pre-season trip to Dubai in March, though
he admits he still has some way to go.
"For me, it will be a test. I have got to
get myself running again after a big oper-
ation. But physically and mentally it tells
- it wears you down. It s not the playing,
it s over 12 months in a year.
"It s the warm-ups, training days, the
flying. In 2011 we had 51 flights in five
months. After a while it can really affect
your motivation and fatigue.
"Touring is tiring -- it s the being away
from home, your family, and that has to
have a knock-on effect on your game.
"The best guys can do it and I m not
complaining, though. To play for your
country is a dream come true."
break good for Cook
Carberry's 50 in vain as Scorchers lose
Kevin Pietersen, left, and Alastair Cook.
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