October 31st 2012 was Halloween – a time when peeps get dressed up in various scary outfits and enjoy a night of ghoulish behaviour with some tricking and treating. Also on this day a certain Mr K Pietersen picked up a bat in anger (he actually took the field the day before) for the England cricket team for the first time in 87 days (trick or treat peeps – your choice – I know what mine is!!!!!!!)
So after a summer of argument, counter argument, provocative texts, retirements, denials, droppings, press conferences, apologies, and re-integrations (WTF!!!!!!!), KP is back in England fold and it has been reported that he has been fully welcomed back by all squad members “it’s just like a player coming back from injury” according to Tim Bresnan. But what will his impact be and will he be accepted back as willingly as it is being made out.
Basically as I’ve mentioned in my previous Blog on the 16th August – KP is England’s best player, but IMO also the most selfish. Now a tour of India is not the easiest of trips (big understatement) even with your strongest possible squad, but with the retirement of Andrew Strauss and the fact England have not been at their best in the last year, the return of a so called key and experienced player is clearly going to be helpful. Joe Root and Nick Compton have both been drafted in as options to replace Strauss but the batting line up which has not functioned too well in recent tests has looked weak, especially for a strenuous tour to the sub continent and also India want revenge big time for the 4-0 drubbing they took in 2011 in one of the most one sided test series I have ever seen. The criticism they were given was extremely strong and their pride was severely hurt – redemption will be on the Indian’s mind.
KP’s re-integration into the squad seems to have been very smooth. Apologies and reassurances have all been signed off and it was on the 18th October when he was added to the touring party for India. The fact that there is no hard evidence of the texts that he sent was obviously a crucial factor – as the Peanut insists that he never sent the South Africans any tactical information – the ECB have taken his word on this and KP has clearly agreed to do anything the board deemed necessary for him to return to the squad, including a number of meetings with key England players and fair play to him he flew from the Big Bash tournament he was playing in South Africa and took time out to do this – which obviously meant the re-integration process was followed to the letter.
So he is back and ready to give his all for the TEAM, as I have mentioned IMO if England were in good form and their batting unit was firing and not so inexperienced, I’m not sure KP would have necessarily been welcomed back so soon (my thorts were he would return for the NZ series in 2013). His return is at this stage mutually beneficial for both parties and with India notoriously seen as one of the hardest tours for any cricket team having the Peanut available to bat obviously makes England a stronger team – well on paper anyways. Lets just hope when England do find themselves under the cosh – teamwork will hopefully be the first order of play – with KP at the forefront.