Kevin Pietersen - would you have him in your team?

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Kevin Pietersen - would you have him in your team?

I'm not really a cricket fan (follow the Ashes in fits and starts but largely I think cricket is the dullest game in the world...) but I have been watching the Pietersen sage unfolding over the last few days.

I don't really want to get into the weeds of the history or even personalities, but interested in people's perspectives on the team issue.  If you were captain/selector, would you pick someone who is supremely talented but not a team player, at the risk of team harmony? Or would you pick the best players and hope they'd somehow GEL as a team? Should Pietersen be offered a lifeline to the England Test team or are they right to sideline him?

We certainly won more when he was in the team than we are now and he's still at his peak cricket wise.  It would be interesting to know what the whole playing team thinks.  They may not be so determined to keep him out.

Id sack any player or coach or anyone on the board who doesnt want him to play anyone who doesnt want to play the best batsman england have possibly ever had and who is also a massive draw for fans is a downright fool

Nope, nope, and thrice nope.  I'll tell you why. He's obviously a very bad and unsettling influence. This is no use to anyone who is trying to build a team spirit, which is vital to any teams success.  PS I've just taken over a footie team, and the lads will be told if anyone disrupts the team they will be out.

I don't think the team spirit thing is that important in cricket as it is in football, rugby and other sports where you need the whole team to function as a unit. Cricket isn't like that it's made up of individual performances and there's always room for a maverick or two. Sure it would be nice to have an harmonious dressing room but at professional level winning is everything. Given England's performances of late they need to be playing their best players regardless of personality. If the Captain & Manager can't manage players with big egos then they shouldn't be in the job.

Some parallels being drawn with Suarez, Ronaldo, Gascoigne, Cantona etc. which just about says it all.  Why would you keep out your best batsman just because he's hard to get on with or ruffles a few feathers etc.   That's life ....just suck it up and get on with it.   Find a way to make it work. Think about Roy Keane in Man U.......did Ferguson drop him because he was a pita? Suspect he was picked because he was a pita!!

i was listening to some chat on the radio yesterday where they were suggesting this latest triple century was a red-herring, that actually the opposition was shite, and he was dropped numerous times.  more revealing the general consensus there was that Pietersen was past his prime as a test batsman and wouldn't necessarily justify a place in the team. as a non-cricket fan i don't know whether that is true or not. Certainly i agree with Crazyface as a principle i wouldn't want a "non team player" in my "team" - but at the highest echelons of professional sport, when winning is everything, perhaps pragmatism takes over from ethics. 

I've felt for a long time that in a number of sports England's selectors have picked based on reputation rather than form which I think is a terrible formula. I would put him in the squad then you at least have the choice of putting him in the team, not to pick him at all is crazy.

No, as the late, great Billy Bremner said "Side before self, everytime". Pietersen has never been able to demonstrate that. Personally I could take a cricket bat to him for 10 minutes without batting an eyelid.

If it wasnt for Strauss being in charge then KP would be in the team . Strauss doesn't like KP and I'm sure that even before the so called meeting that KP felt the same way about Strauss,so to me it looks like a personal  vendetta against KP. Would I have him in my team .you could put money on it.

Pietersen is a self-serving arsehole. He's not even English. He's only bothered for two reasons: Ego, and IPL - being an England test player adds to his contract.   He cannot be trusted by anyone - his book proved that. Within minutes of Strauss delivering the news, he proved AS correct - he really is a weasel. The irony of him calling the ECB "deceitful", is clearly lost on him. As a batsman, he can't win a match on his own anyway. Best would be a draw, if he batted until everyone else fell asleep. And towards the end of his England career, he was chucking his wicket away, playing shots that the situation dictated were suicidal. In short, he couldn't have given a shite for the team's needs - he just wanted out, and his feet up. As for the "winning more with him than without him", that would be conveniently ignoring Cooke batting for ever, Flintoff, Swann, Harmison et al ripping stumps out, Bell, Prior.............a great TEAM. Not just KP and a bunch of knackers. Top-level sport is decided on such fine margins, having him in the team (even if it only knocked 1% of the rests' games) could be that bit that loses the matches.   Wearing the England shirt (whatever the sport) should be a matter of PRIDE, not right. You lot who think he should be allowed to waltz back in, calling the tune, should be ashamed of yourselves, and what that type of thinking has done to this once-proud nation.   Fook him.    

Take it you not a fan then Bridgey.

With him or without him - we've already lost The Ashes   The Aussies are in much better shape, as a team, from a skills level and from a sense of humour. You should see the way their telly promotes the fanaticism - no negativity, just confidence,  they stuffed us last time and they will stuff us this time is the message, with film of great strikes exploding off the bat and screaming off like tracer and their bowling exploding the stumps - all done with graphics of course but bloody effective. On the issue of team players, it is down to the selectors - they are part of the team. However, I would only select winners - and winners aren't necessarily nice guys,  

Cracking batsman, but you wouldn't have him in the trenches alongside you.

Taz wrote (see)

  The Aussies are in much better shape, as a team, from a skills level and from a sense of humour. You should see the way their telly promotes the fanaticism - no negativity, just confidence,  they stuffed us last time and they will stuff us this time is the message, with film of great strikes exploding off the bat and screaming off like tracer and their bowling exploding the stumps - all done with graphics of course but bloody effective.  

Behave - the Aussies whine like no-one on Earth, when they're getting a 'tatering. Remember Olympics 2012   From the horse's mouth.   Get your rose-tinted specs off, Taz - when cornered, Aussies are no better than anyone else

First comment from the article   We were, are and will continue to be a bunch of whingers. We accuse the English of it but in reality we've always been far worse CommentercynicLocationDate and timeJuly 27, 2012, 12:01AM Read more:   And I didn't even have to search for it - I've been too busy "winding down"

Yes - he would be in my team !

Cricket team , as in any sport with teams, needs to be as one. You fight and die for one another. If the spirit isn't there, the flesh will be weak. Remember Mike Brearleys team? 

I cant see why people are up in arms about Peterson, Trott is far more selfish and he isn't chastised in the same way. If the ECB want loyalty pick English players if you want to win and fill our team with foreigners he has to be in.  

To answer the original question: yes, in a heartbeat!

Apparently Cook did a pram chuck when it was even hinted that Pietersen may make a return, after banging in a 1st class 355 not out (no doubt along the lines of "If he comes, I go!") and Strauss (no Pietersen lover himself, anyone who follows cricket all know about the "open mike" incident where he called KP a "rhymes with Hunt" live on air) went along with that. Me, I would have said to Cook: "SEE YAH!"

Don't forget the fact that KP is still England's best batsman of all time, and at a time when most of the squad (mainly the openers of which Cook is one of them) are folding quicker than a bad poker hand we need a bit of "juice" in the side.

Trott was a disgrace in the previous Ashes series, quoting he "left the planet for a bit" (if they were self-employed, or weren't getting paid there'd be no such thing as "stress" in a sportsman's life, they'd sharp be out there once their own moolah started to dry up) but the reality being he simply couldn't deal with Mitchell Johnson - end of!

I wouldn't have had *him* back in the squad but he's chummy-chummy with precious Alistair isn't he and that pair did so well together as a team in the Windies didn't they......a lot of nice round figures for both of them. Hah!

Although it gives me no pleasure to say it I hope we get murdered by NZ, Aussies and SA. At some point we'll realise that Cook is a chinless wonder (for someone with such a massive chin) and that Strauss couldn't pick his own nose!

Let's get Vaughn in Strauss' role, s0d Cook off, bring KP back in and start to build the squad around the fresh young captaincy of Joe Root. That kid eats, sleeps and breathes cricket 24/7. He doesn't f**k off to his farm for weeks at a time staring at fields and livestock (not naming names - Cook - to "centre" himself - pah)!

Roots knowledge of the game is encyclopedic (for someone so young) and has a shrewd stats brain. Or, when Cook goes, we could default to the mantra of "been here longest" and pick an Anderson or Broad. Can't deny their passion but from the shoulder's up, well, you'd have concerns wouldn't you!

Is KP England's best batsman of all time? 

Certainly has the best batting average of all time. Unlike Cook who hasn't.

Pietersen may be sh!te should he get back into the England cricket squad but I'd at least like to see him be given the chance.

You look at Michael Jordan at the Chicago Bulls: absolutely hated by his team mates (and he them because they frustrated him for not trying as hard as he thought he did). There was alienation and all the same internal team politics that we see in the England cricket squad now but no one could deny that he was by far the best player in that team.

They made changes and brought in the likes of Scotty Pippen and Toni Kukoc and built the team around Jordan. The rest is history and the fans, his team mates and brass at the Bulls all fell in love with him. The team was even strong enough to bring in a high charged character like Dennis Rodman without affecting the overall make-up of the team, a team which went on to even more success. Jordan: best there ever was, best there'll ever be.

Now I'm not saying that Pietersen *IS* the best right now but whether it's cricket, football, rugby or tiddlywinks, if there's a person out there who is more than good enough to play in - let's face it - a failing squad (I mean the Windies are just as poor as us, if not poorer, and we still managed to wrestle a draw from the clutches of victory in those tests), then I want them in there and playing.

If the other players can't handle that (i.e. would be showed up by him basically) then that's *their* problem, not his. If Pietersen let's his bat do the talking rather than his chops then he'll be in an England jumper before the season's out I'm sure. If not then the selectors and/or the rest of the squad (of the Pietersen era) ought to be spifflicated.

I only ask coz I'm not a cricket fan, but I looked on wikipedia(I know, sad, not a cricket fan, and gullible to boot) 're test records and KP wasn't top, Cook also had more test hundreds.
maybe it's easier to recall his great performances and forget the poorer ones?

  "Certainly the best batting average of all time"?? Chris, you haven't got a clue. Gooch, Cook, Stewart and Gower have all scored more test run than Pietersen and he is currently lying in about 16th for all-time batting averages (Joe Root is top of current players). Despite your critique of Alastair Cook, he has scored more runs than Pietersen, has more centuries than Pietersen and their averages are pretty similar (KP 47.28. AC 46.22).  Pietersen has been kicked out of every team he has ever played for as, ultimately, people can't stand the bloke. He consistently has put his own interests above those of the team. Sure, it is possible to share a dressing room with someone for a while, but there comes a limit to anyone's patience. KP only has himself to blame by undermining Strauss's captaincy by sending derogatory texts to the South Africans (why do you think Strauss made those on-air comments?) and then publishing his self-serving autobiography last year in which he was highly critical of current England players.  Joe Root has got a brilliant test record, Gary Ballance has made the best ALL-TIME start to his test career of any England player and Ian Bell is another all-time great with over 7000 test runs at 45. Why would you pick KP with his disruptive past - he isn't go to do any better than any of those 3. Scoring 355 against the worst team in the County Championship who haven't won a game for 2 years is a bit of a red herring. In ODI's and T20 Internationals, you may have more of a point but Alex Hales is scoring runs for fun at the moment so again, KP is not needed. If you want to talk averages in ODI's, Johnathon Trott is Englands all-time best at 51.25 (KP's is 40.25). My view is that KP is replaceable in any form of cricket with a batter who is pretty much like-for-like in terms of quality, but is much less of a Berkshire Hunt.

If he starts to rack up good scores (while the rest p!ss in the wind, or get stress, or decide to f**k off half way through a beating like Swann did last year) then how long will they ignore him?

Point of fact is that he only came back to play county cricket (as opposed to the far more lucrative IPL that he could have continued to play in) based on the "chance" that if he did and performed well that he could be "considered" for an England place.

He gets back, does what it says on the tin and now there was no "chance" and he won't be "considered". Cheers for that! (I bet KP was thinking).

Well we'll only know when we know at the end of the season in September and after the SA tour.

First up an in form New Zealand this week at Lords. It's been rumoured that Cook has been seen wearing a full head dress and moccasin chanting a rain dance around a totem pole. If we can get a couple of bad weather weeks and the tests are called off at least they'll technically be draws.

He can kiss the back of mine.

Merry Christmas to you all on GM ????

Rack up good scores? For whom? He's left Surrey and is off to play in the Carribean T20 competition.

Team games need teams.

KP causes too much aggro.

I call it "spice"!

Well this is going well isn't it - but at least there's no aggro in the dressing room....

Cook put in a sterling 16 Tim so I don't know what you're getting at?

16 more than two of his innings in the Windies!

Or you could put the "Alistair Cook Appreciation Society" spin on it and say that he was only 84 short of his century.

Or you could ignore the inconvenient truth that Cook scored 268 runs at just under 45 on that West Indies tour and got a really good delivery today (as did Lythe, Bell and Ballance).

Let's see what happens 2nd innings.

ouch, your points got a bit of a pasting from Samiguel there Chris.  To be honest the Cook vs KP point is moot anyway as you wouldn't drop one for the other anyway. The real question is who you would leave out to put him in?

I don't know mate. The middle order is our strongest feature currently. It's the rest of the shower of sh!te we need to sort out, mainly chinny but I have to admit he has at least doubled his score from the 1st innings (thus far). Nice to see bell-y sticking it to them. Every delivery chinny has faced he's looked like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights.

Well I had the pleasure of watching the first hour's play yesterday when both Cook and Root came under fire from a tremendous spell of bowling from the NZ bowlers.

The first thing I noticed about Cook was that he's finally remembered to "leave" the nothing ball (where he's gotten out more times than soft mick recently). Anything on the leg side punished and anything on the wicket defended. It was a pleasure to watch (for once).

Then you have the Sky pundidts drivelling on about how packing in 1 day/limited over events has helped this. If you're a cricketer at the top of your game and you can't switch modes of play then you want your bumps felt.

I hope he declares just before lunch to give them an awkward 5-6 over spell. Then a break. Repeat.