Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 8th 2013 Contents A46
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, July 8, 2013
Andrew Strauss has spoken of
the problems he encountered
when trying to manage Kevin
Pietersen, but has backed the
batsman to be there when Eng-
land need him in the upcoming
Ashes series, assuming he is
"committed" to the cause.
As a three-time urn winner as
a player and a two-time victor as
a captain, Strauss knows better
than most about the pressures of
facing the Baggy Green, as well as
the complexities of leading indi-
viduals such as Pietersen.
Strauss retirement last summer
came amid a high-profile blow-
up with Pietersen regarding mes-
sages sent to opposition South
African players, while Strauss has
used his column in the Sunday
Times to detail a number of other
issues he claims to have faced with
Strauss wrote of Pietersen being
"booked" for speeding in Australia
two years ago, saying "it was
another example of his individu-
ality and shows his lust for
approval doesn t end on the cricket
The former opening batsman
added that planning meetings
would "bore" Pietersen which
caused "friction", while saying that
"within the team environment he
was never comfortable when being
forced to toe the team line."
On the flip side, though, Strauss
has seen Pietersen s brilliance at
close quarters, having shared a
field with him for the majority of
his 22 Test hundreds.
The first of those came in the
2005 Ashes victory as he clubbed
a brilliant 158 in the final Test to
regain the urn for England.
And that, according to Strauss,
demonstrates just how dangerous
a player the South Africa-born
batsman can be, citing the pressure
of the Ashes as something which
"He knows as well as anyone
that reputations can be forged and
destroyed in those seven weeks,"
"Alongside his outrageous
innings at The Oval in 2005, his
performances in Adelaide in 2006
and 2010 stand out. In Ashes Tests
he averages 52.7 - more than three
runs better than his overall aver-
"If England find themselves
seeking inspiration this summer,
expect him to deliver."
Pietersen returned to the Eng-
land side in all forms of the game
last winter in India, suggesting a
new approach after the problems
which had blighted his relationship
with Strauss, who believes his for-
mer team-mates interest in the
Indian Premier League was at the
root of all the problems.
"His falling out with the team
in the South Africa series was
brought about by his interest in
the IPL, a tournament tailor-made
for his talents and personality, and
by him losing his love for the Eng-
land cricketing environment,"
"He has never been one to bot-
tle things up. That he lashed out,
by sending text messages to to the
opposition, and by distancing him-
self from his team-mates, is some-
thing that he probably regrets.
"Important lessons have been
learnt over the past 12 months, by
Pietersen, the ECB and his team-
mates. It is to his great credit, as
well as the rest of the team, that
they have been able to move for-
ward from the trials of last sum-
mer so adeptly.
"A fully fit, motivated and
focused Kevin Pietersen is an
immense asset to any side. If he
intends to prove his commitment
to English cricket over the next
six months, then Australia had
better look out."
England has dropped opener Nick Compton from
a 13-man squad to face Australia in next week s
first Investec Test at Trent Bridge.
The selectors, who have named Graham Onions
as an extra pace-bowling option in an otherwise very
predictable line-up, telegraphed their intention---in
the team they picked last week to face Essex in a
warm-up match---to move Joe Root up from number
five to open alongside captain Alastair Cook instead
The Test match return of Kevin Pietersen, out of
action for three months after injuring his knee in
New Zealand last month, was also confirmed.
Twenty-two-year-old Root will open for the first
time in a Test, on Ashes debut, having previously
batted exclusively in the middle order for his coun-
try.National selector Geoff Miller was also able to
confirm first-choice bowlers Stuart Broad and Graeme
Swann are fully-fit for selection for their home Tests
after their respective injury scares at Chelmsford.
"We are satisfied with our preparations so far for
the first Test, with both Graeme Swann and Stuart
Broad recovering well from the injuries they picked
up earlier this week," said Miller.
"The squad will continue their hard work over the
next few days and will be eagerly anticipating the
start of the series on Wednesday at Trent Bridge.
"This is an incredibly exciting period of cricket
coming up against Australia, and we know we will
need to play to our full potential throughout the
entire Investec Ashes Series if we are to retain the
Despite his disappointment at being omitted,
Compton took to his Twitter account to throw his
support behind his England team-mates.
He said: "Naturally disappointed am not in the
squad but I m right behind the boys and wish them
luck for the series I ll be ready if my chance comes.
Lancashire ended a run of three games without
a win in the Friends Life t20 North Group by
narrowly beating Leicestershire in a last-ball
thriller at Old Trafford yesterday.
The Lightning, who tied with Yorkshire on Friday
night in another exciting contest, made 155 for
four batting first with Simon Katich making an
unbeaten 62 off 43 balls.
Leicestershire remained in the hunt right to the
end with Michael Thornely s six off the penultimate
ball keeping their hopes alive. However, Thornely
was run out off the final delivery as Lancashire
claimed victory by four runs.
In the Midlands Group, Worcestershire over-
powered Gloucestershire to register their first win
of the season by five wickets at New Road.
Having restricted their neighbours to 119 for
nine on a slow pitch, they got home with five overs
to spare thanks to a flush of form for Alexei
Kervezee, who has had a difficult summer since
he retired from international cricket with Hol-
With only one half-century in 26 previous
innings in all formats - that arriving in a Yorkshire
Bank 40 meeting with his former Dutch team-
mates - he held his focus in cruising to an unbeaten
42 from 32 balls.
Alviro Petersen hit a match-winning half-century
as Somerset made it maximum points from their
first two games with a six-wicket victory over
Northamptonshire at Taunton.
Stuart Broad believes
any problems in the Aus-
tralian ranks are "com-
pletely irrelevant" to the
England players in the
build-up to the first
Ashes Test at Trent
Bridge on Wednesday.
Following a 4-0 series
defeat in India, a disap-
pointing Champions Tro-
phy campaign, off-field
misdemeanours and a
change in head coach just
three weeks before the
Ashes, many believe the
tourists will struggle to
compete with England
throughout the summer.
But Broad, who will be
fit for the opening Test at
his home ground follow-
ing a cortisone injection
on his right shoulder, says
anything happening in the
Australia camp is of no
interest to England.
"It is completely irrel-
evant to us as a team," he
said when asked about
Australia s ongoing issues.
"That sounds strange
as we are playing against
the Australians but as a
team policy for us we just
concentrate on our
"In a meeting we will
talk about what we do
well, what we want to get
out of the game and what
stamp of authority we
want to place on the
game, whoever we are
"We are very focused
on that, we know Aus-
tralia are a dangerous
team and we will do our
tactical research on them.
But what happens for
them in terms of hierar-
chy and stuff we just
don t care about, for us it
is just getting ourselves
ready for 11 o clock on
England will name their
side tomorrow, with a
number of players likely
to be left deflated at miss-
ing out on the first Test.
Opener Nick Compton
has already bemoaned his
lack of opportunity and
there is an ongoing battle
between Steven Finn and
Tim Bresnan to fill the
third seam bowler slot in
They are selection
headaches that Broad
believes are a good sign
and the 27-year-old feels
privileged to be surround-
ed by such a high number
of quality cricketers.
make difference Lancashire returns
to winning ways
for Ashes opener
Kevin Pietersen, left, England's potential X-factor in the Ashes says Andrew Strauss, right.
AN Cook (Captain), JE Root, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, IR
Bell, JM Bairstow, MJ Prior (wkt), GP Swann, SCJ
Broad, ST Finn, JM Anderson, TT Bresnan, G Onions.
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