ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is around the corner and England are still struggling to find their right combination. England’s performance in One Day International (ODI) cricket has been abysmal. Their stubbornness to stick with the combination that isn’t working is hurting them badly and their no intend on the part of the English Cricket Board (ECB) to introspect and make the required changes.
Alastair Cook, who is going through a very lean patch as a batsman in ODI cricket, has failed to inspire his team and as a result England are performing poorly in ODI cricket.
Since KP’s sacking, every debate in England cricket has been around him. Whenever there’s a defeat, Kevin Pietersen’s fans come out and ask for his comeback. And, on the other hand, whenever England do well, people who are against Pietersen come out and say- “We can still win without KP”.
Many cricket pundits and former England cricketers including Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan, have already ruled out England from the 2015 World Cup. Although, Alastair Cook still believes that England will do well, former cricketers and cricket pundits are absolutely correct considering the way England have performed in the last 12 months or so.
It’s true that England need someone one to inspire and provide the much needed “X-factor”, but Kevin Pietersen is not the one England should consider, as far as the World Cup 2015 is concerned.
Let’s have a look at Kevin Pietersen’s number in the last 18 months or so:
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 averages with his career average of 47.28, it clearly shows that Kevin Pietersen hasn’t been at his best in the recent past. Also, in this period, he has scored only Test 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.
Kevin Pietersen’s first tournament post The Ashes debacle was the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In IPL7, Kevin 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.
It’s true that Kevin Pietersen, who is the highest run scorer in the history of English cricket, has done enough to prove his worth, but it is also true he hasn’t been at his best, in fact, he has struggled to score runs in whatever form of cricket he has played post the Ashes debacle in Australia.