'The wheel has to turn,' Kevin Pietersen said simply, and it has. In the 15 innings he's played since the 227 in Adelaide, he has made three of his four highest Test scores and his average is back above 50. His knock yesterday summoned all of his quirky brilliance, and also the pernicious nature of cricket's gods.
There really is no other way to think about the game sometimes. No-one works harder than KP, and to overcome his long drought, he went back to the book. Both of his double hundreds, plus his 85 at the Rose Bowl against Sri Lanka [an equally high-quality innings], were most notable for the way he determined to hit everything down the ground. There is no better principal to abide by, and none better to watch.
With his swagger back, he spent the first part of his innings yesterday determined to ignore it. Ishant Sharma almost bowled him round his legs several times. Last ball before lunch he blundered into the most obvious leg slip trap ever set. On 88 he screwed a hoick just wide of mid-off. He hit the second ball after tea straight up in the air, having gone to hundred from the first. At times Bell made him look like an oaf.
Any and all of these incidents would have done for him when his luck was down and the wheel was yet to turn. What was intriguing about this almost endlessly fascinating player was his willingness to ride his luck, almost to trust it. There's a part of batting that is about fatalism, about the nature of chance, and Pietersen more than most seems willing to allow it to be part of his game. He really is extraordinary.
On Talking and Writing about Cricket
2 months ago