March 2009
« Feb   Apr »

John Stern: England need KP to step up to three

March 25th, 2009 by John Stern in England, Test cricket

In the England football team there is the problem left-sided position. In the England Test side, well, there is more than one problem but particularly frustrating of recent months is the troublesome No.3 position.

The fact that we can still harbour the romantic notion of Michael Vaughan re-emerging from a 2002-03 timewarp and flaying the Aussies just shows how troubled we are. So who should it be? Bell? Shah? Bopara? Key? Vaughan? Cook or Strauss?

The answer has been staring us in the face for ages. That’s right, Kev, it’s time. If you are as good as we think you are – and more to the point as you think you are – then what’s stopping you batting at three? Don’t fancy the new ball? Shaky starter? Who isn’t. Just look at Ricky Ponting. And while we’re on the subject of Punter, he bats at three. So did Viv Richards, in the prime of his career. So did Jacques Kallis. And, er, Don Bradman. Sachin Tendulkar isn’t at three but then he’s had Rahul Dravid to do that job for most of his career.

From what one can glean, KP’s place in the batting order has always been something of an issue. He didn’t want to move from five to four for ages, so we’re told. I can’t imagine he’d fancy batting three. But needs must. And Pietersen is England’s one world-class batsman. He told us after the captain-coach fall-out how he only had the best interests of the team at heart. So, show us how much you care, Kev, and step up.

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in England, Test cricket | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “John Stern: England need KP to step up to three”

  1.   Dave says:

    Problems with the new ball? No problem, assuming the openers do their job and see it off.


  2.   Andy says:

    What’s wrong with a bit of flexibility? If the openers manage to put on 50 or so, then KP goes in. If they don’t, send in someone with a bit more opening experience (Vaughan?). Rather than trying to find a “number 3″ who can fill both roles, be a bit more fluid in the batting line up.

  3.   Gumbo says:

    Ravi at three. He’s fearless, good against the new ball and can adapt his batting to coming in at 0 for 1 or 150 for 1.

  4.   Dave says:

    Andy, if we’re going with Vaughan at three if the openers get out cheaply, we’d better pick another opener to bat at four in case Vaughan misses a straight one. Key?

  5.   Primary Club says:

    We had a fairly successful England No 3 who wasn’t dropped but who has spent most of the last two years injured. Mark Butcher’s chances of some early season form on the pitches at The Brit Oval must be greater than those of Michael Vaughan on seaming pitches at Headingley - and that’s before you recall Vaughan’s Goweresque contributions to county cricket. Butcher’s problem is that he is alos the wrong side of 30.

Leave a Reply

Site by Anson Robson Marketing © 2010 The Wisden Cricketer All Rights Reserved