Monthly Archives: April 2009

Kevin Pietersen an expensive mistake – we told you so

 

Just thought, in the light of Kevin Pietersen’s poor performance in the IPL – 100 runs in six innings as I write – I’d remind you what Reverse Sweep wrote about 11 months ago when it was first reported that he would be the competition’s most expensive player. Read on…

 

A little more than a week ago, two days in fact into the first Test between England and New Zealand, it was reported that Kevin Pietersen was on the verge of signing a deal worth £2million over three years to play in the IPL. Most of those who greeted the news with dismay concentrated on the workload that would face Pietersen, an already high-profile critic of player burnout, in the run-up to the next Ashes series. That, obviously, is a concern, but of equal concern I would have thought to the IPL franchise prepared to make him the competition’s highest paid player, would be his Twenty20 record. It really is nothing to make you throw billions of rupees at. In international competition, 13 innings have brought him 321 runs at an average of just over 24. Add on his domestic figures and you get 577 runs at 25. His international innings have produced just one score of more than 50. Aha, I hear you say, but isn’t strike rate the crucial thing in Twenty20? Quite so, and the figures stack up well for him there, where he is scoring at around 158 per 100 balls. Indeed, a quick 30 at the right time can be more significant than a bunch of half-centuries in this form of the game. But, from observation, my feeling is that Pietersen is not as at home with this form of the game as his reputation as an attacking batsman would seem to indicate. Pietersen is a counter-attacker of the finest kind – at least when he’s not being cast in the role of Daniel Vettori’s bunny – someone who can turn a game when the pressure is on, the field up, and someone who takes time to grow into his best innings. The immediate attacking impact required of Twenty20, to my mind, doesn’t suit him so well. Besides, when it comes to six hitting, he is not in the same class as a Brendon McCullum or an Andrew Symonds. They smack the ball flat; Pietersen is an inside-out man, as likely to get height as length on his shots. Maybe I’m wrong, but Pietersen could turn out to be an expensive mistake for the IPL

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Malinga the slinger looking remarkably like a chucker

Those surfers of the blogosphere who occasionally catch a wave in to Reverse Sweep will have probably worked out, after ten weeks of inactivity, that it takes something fairly remarkable to get me out of my comfy armchair and spouting forth in righteous anger and indignation on this forum.

Well that remarkable thing happened just now, as I started to watch the Kolkatta Knight Riders’ reply against the Mumbai Indians in the coat of many colours that is the Indian Premier League. Previously, I’ve had to plump my cushions up just that little bit higher by the ever-more extraordinary costumes that the stars of this circus are being forced to wear (for the record I’m not against coloured clothing per se, just the eye-wateringly bizarre nature of the combinations on offer – red and white, red and gold, black and gold. It would have Trinny and Sussanha reaching for an Argos catalogue) and been forced to the edge of my upholstery by the sight of Harbhajan Singh coming into bat at No 3.

But the first two deliveries to Chris Gayle from Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lankan fast bowler playing for Mumbai, propelled me from such luxuries into my decidely less plush, but reassuringly single-tone turquoise, desk chair (£20 from a second hand furniture clearance store in downtown Wimbledon Chase).

For, knock me down with a feather, was not the former Slinger quite obviously and plainly Chucking, at a pace of about 140kph? I didn’t have my protractor handy, but as his arm came round in a sideways wind up just prior to release, did not the angle of flex not just excede 15 degrees but seem so close to 90 that I was reduced to searching for the square on the hypotenuse?

And yet, was I the only one who noticed? It seems so, for not one of the posse of commentators who have found work in the sub-continental competition being played in a completely different Continent, found reason to comment, not even when Malinga completely lost it and hurled the ball five yards down the legside at the height of an RAF Hercules on stealthy night-time manoevres.

So, tell me, anyone just popping in here to waste a bit of down time at work, am I right or have the strangely-patterned strips just interfered iin a most unnatural way with my eyesight

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