World Cup 2015: Why England Shouldn’t Pick Kevin Pietersen

Statistically, Kevin Pietersen is the best English batsman ever, in all forms of international cricket. In the last decade or so, he has been one of the mainstays of English cricket. Pietersen has contributed massively towards the success of English, especially in Test cricket. After the forgettable Ashes tour of Australia, in which England were mercilessly whitewashed by the Aussies, Kevin Pietersen was dropped from the England team, and since then, he has been made to stay from England’s national team.

Now, when the all important Cricket World Cup 2015 is just around the corner, everyone is curious about Kevin Pietersen’s future and whether he England will pick him or not.

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There’s no doubt that Kevin Pietersen is a terrific ODI batsman, and of the best England has ever produced. But, has he done enough in the last 12 months to be a part of England’s World Cup squad, is the biggest question.

To understand this situation better, let’s divide KP’s career into two phases:

Pre-retirement (from 2013 to 2013-14 Ashes series)
Post-retirement ( 2014 onward)

 

Pre-retirement

1) England in New Zealand Test Series, 2012/13: Kevin Pietersen scored only 85 runs in 2 matches at an average of 28.33

2) The Ashes (Australia in England), 2013: Kevin Pietersen scored 388 runs at an average of 38.80

3) The Ashes (England in Australia), 2013-14: Kevin Pietersen scored 294 runs at an average of 29.40

Now, if you compare these average with his career average of 47.28, it clearly shows that he has been struggling to score runs. Also, in this period, he has scored only Test match hundred.

Kevin Pietersen also played an ODI series against Australia in 2013, in which he scored 71 runs in 4 matches at an average of 17.75.

Post-retirement

Kevin Pietersen’s first tournament post The Ashes debacle was the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In IPL7, Pietersen scored 294 runs in 11 matches at an average of 29.4, as compared to his previous year exploits ( 305 and 236 runs @ 61 and 59, in IPL 5 and IPL6 respectively).

Pietersen also played in T20 championships in England. Playing for Surrey, Pietersen scored only 204 runs in 9 innings.

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These numbers clearly show that Kevin Pietersen’s form hasn’t been anywhere close to his best in the last one and a half years. The preparations for the Cricket World Cup 2015 have reached the last stages and teams are working on finalizing their squads.

Although there’s a huge support for Kevin Pietersen and his fans want to him play in World Cup 2015, his numbers clearly suggest that he is not the right man for England at the moment. He hasn’t played any international for over 8 months and whatever domestic cricket he has played, he hasn’t scored runs.

In my opinion, England shouldn’t pick Kevin Pietersen for World Cup 2015.

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by Kaushik Narayanan

image source: ESPNCRICINFO

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