Monday, November 30, 2009

Pietersen form not a worry - Flower

It isn't only the crowds that Kevin Pietersen is having to battle in South Africa, but also his own form after a four-month injury lay-off following Achilles surgery. His innings during the one-day series have been unconvincing, but given the career he has already had, expectations were always going to be high as soon as he returned to the England side.

His soft chip to midwicket at Port Elizabeth ended a six-ball 3 in which he had already been dropped at long leg off a top-edged hook. At Centurion Park he made 29 off 19 balls in the second Twenty20, his comeback match, but managed just 4 in the one-day international on the same ground. His top score of 45 came in Cape Town but, although there was the odd glimpse of his usual style, he looked like a player feeling his way back.

The camp, though, remain unconcerned about Pietersen's results. Before the fourth ODI, Paul Collingwood said it was only to be expected that he would struggle for a while after such a long time out and now the coach, Andy Flower, has said he it was always going to be a challenge for Pietersen.

"I wouldn't be too worried. I think he's going to take a little while to get back in form," Flower told reporters after England arrived in Durban. "Being out for four months - when he's used to playing all the time - I think is a challenge he's going to have to overcome.

"He's a high achiever, an outstanding sportsman - and he will be very impatient to get back into his dominant ways again. I think we should be patient with him, because it's not easy just to walk back in and dominate straight away."

Given Pietersen's record of performing best when the pressure is on, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him emerge from his early problems during the final one-day international at Durban - his old home ground for Natal and where he first encountered England during the 1999-2000 tour and made his intentions known about switching allegiance.

"He tends to want to do it his way," Flower said. "That's part of his strength, his make-up - what makes him a different and very powerful player for us. He will score heavy runs on this tour, and maybe Friday is the day. It could be his day."

Subscribe in a reader

No comments:

Post a Comment