Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pietersen deserves new England deal

Kevin Pietersen is to be rewarded for an outstanding tour of India with a new contract from the ECB that will banish any suggestions over a wavering commitment to the England Test side.

Pietersen was superb in the England whites during their tour of India this autumn, scoring two half-centuries and a staggering 186 in Mumbai to win the second Test. Such a positive influence has the right-hander been on the squad that the ECB have rightly decided to extend his contract.

The contract wont be a problem, said selector Andy Flower. Kevin has been excellent in every way.

For him to score as quickly as he did there and put such pressure on the opposition bowlers really helped us turn the series around.

Indeed, Flower is right to praise Pietersen after some sublime performances with the bat against India. Before that Mumbai Test England were on the ropes. They had just lost by nine wickets in Ahmedabad and looked completely lost on the turning wicket. Pietersen came in and, along with Alastair Cooks century, steadied the ship.

There were certainly doubters in the betting world who suggested KP would not be given the chance to fully redeem himself after exile from the squad over the summer. Hopefully that Mumbai Test silenced these critics for good, for he was rightly called back into the team for the tour of India and had he not been present England would not have won that series.

We can now expect KP to be given a deal that at least extends to the end of the 2013/14 Ashes series. Over that time he will have his work cut out, with a tor of New Zealand, a home Ashes and a series Down Under to look forward to, but if Pietersen can keep his head down and perform like he did in India then the ECBs decision to bring him back will be vindicated.

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