Well he’d certainly like us to believe he is and, if you were to go along with some of the stuff that’s been written recently, it’s a view shared by journalists and pundits alike but just how good is he?
Now don’t get me wrong, our performances since he took over the reigns from Vaughany have been pretty impressive. We won the final Test match of the series and are 4-0 up in the ODI series with just the final match to be played tomorrow. Freddie Flintoff is back amongst the runs and Steve Harmison is back amongst the wickets. On the face of it he’s performed miracles since taking over. A win tomorrow lifts England up to second in the ODI world rankings but let’s just put things into perspective for a minute, shall we?
The win in the final Test was against a South African team who had already done what they set out to achieve which was secure a first Test series victory on English soil for over 40 years. Sure there’s the professional pride thing but I’m sure that as far as the Saffers were concerned they’d already done the job. To a certain extent that attitude has spilt over into the one day team. They weren’t helped by the injuries to key players but I can’t help feeling that their heart wasn’t in it. I’m not saying they’ve rolled over and kicked their legs in the air but I feel that if the Test series had gone the other way that we’d be seeing a different South Africa team.
Ian Bell gives us an interesting insight into Team KP in this quote from the BBC website:
Kev (Pietersen) sat down with us before the series started and gave us an honest chat about where he thought we were as a team…It’s pretty obvious to see that at times we can play outstandingly well and at times we can be pretty poor…The one thing he has tried to mark on everyone is that we have to have consistency and everyone has bought into that…
So the key ingredient to Pietersens success is by getting highly paid professional sportsman to stop being shit, then. Getting the players to agree that they need to perform consistently doesn’t strike me as being revolutionary and, if anything, says more about them than it does about him.
Maybe it’s just the curmudgeon in me. Possibly it’s because I wanted Fatboy Fat to take over but for whatever reason I’m still not totally sold on Pietersen as skipper.
Bring home the Ashes next summer and then I might reconsider.