Monday, December 6, 2010

Is Adelaide bearing witness to the ‘Pietersen test’?

English fans and cricket betting pundits have already witnessed a ‘Botham test’, so named due to the fact that Ian Botham effectively defeated Australia on his own after producing a sublime batting and bowling display, but it may now be the turn of Australian fans to witness the ‘Pietersen test’.

With the England man achieving a stunning double ton with the bat, he may also have taken the crucial wicket as England seek to earn a famous victory in Adelaide. If this does indeed turn out to be the case, then surely nobody could deny that the return to form for Pietersen, who was criticised far and wide in the build-up to the Ashes series, could not have been better timed from an English perspective.

Although his double ton with the bat in his hand isn't a huge surprise, albeit a remarkable achievement, his ability to find some extra bounce in his wicket-taking delivery to Clarke may have helped to guide England’s spinner Graeme Swann in his quest to get some movement at last out of the ball on Aussie soil, something that really would be a massive boost to England’s hopes of keeping hold of the Ashes.

England started the test at Adelaide as slight underdogs with the cricket odds, despite an excellent and spirited fight back that saw them secure a draw in the first test, but now the visitors really are slowly but surely beginning to take the initiative in the 2010 Ashes series. If they can take this initiative and turn it into a decent result, then they may well find themselves in the unfamiliar position of favourites to win the Ashes this year.

However, with Pietersen still in the very early days of his apparent return to form, he will need to show that he can continue his comeback in England’s second innings and beyond if he is to inspire the side to their first win on Australian soil since the days of Botham.

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