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Kevin Pietersen Betway blog: England v West Indies second Test

15 Jul | BY Kevin Pietersen | MIN READ TIME |
Kevin Pietersen Betway blog: England v West Indies second Test

England’s batsmen deserve more scrutiny than the bowlers, says the Betway ambassador, but Denly would have had more to offer if allowed to play his natural game.

Congratulations

For me, the result of last week’s first Test was irrelevant. To get cricket back and to get people all around the world talking about it again was the most important thing.

The ECB and the West Indies Cricket Board did magnificently to get everything together and both teams came out of it so, so well.

Clearly, there are cricketing things that can and will be spoken about leading up to the next Test match, but the overwhelming feeling was of delight that the game was on.

I thought the coverage was absolutely brilliant, too. The Lord’s hum in the background added great value and, of course, the way that Michael Holding spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement before the match was absolutely fantastic.

Joe Denly has been managed abysmally

Having done pretty well in South Africa, England didn’t play as well as they should have done at the Ageas Bowl.

It’s so easy to start talking about the bowlersparticularly the absence of Stuart Broad but the bigger talking point should be how they go about scoring 400 runs. They have a huge issue in the batting department and have done for a while now.

England used to score 400 regularly. Cook, Strauss, Trott, myself, Bell. We used to cream 400 runs.

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It is a strategy issue, for sure.

The way that Joe Denly has been treated over the last two years, being told by senior management to just try and face 100 balls, is atrocious.

I saw what Denly did in the Big Bash a couple of seasons ago. He turned up and started whacking everybody all around Australia. The guys at my team, Melbourne Stars, couldn’t believe what they were seeing. I played with him in the first part of his England career, too. He always looked to attack and get after the bowling.

He has every shot. He’s got a wonderful cover drive, he plays the pull shot, he plays the hook shot. I’d definitely like to see him be given the opportunity to go out and bat freely. If that doesn’t work then he’s not good enough for Testmatch cricket. Good night.

But you can’t tell him to change his ways, just face 100 balls, and then drop him because he doesn’t do it. It’s truly abysmal.

With Joe Root coming back into the side, I would have sat one of the youngsters out and allowed Denly an opportunity to play his way, with more freedom.

Nice to see Stuart Broad talk honestly

I said last week that I would have played James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the first Test, but there is no doubt that England have plenty of options in the bowling department.

It was certainly nice to see Broad speak so honestly in an interview during the Test match, though.

He is an outspoken person and he wears his heart on his sleeve. The captain and coach might not have enjoyed it, but he is lucky to be playing in an era now where speaking honestly is tolerated.

I have always been a believer that, if a player is unhappy, they should be able to say so.

There are plenty of people who drip-feed nonsense into the media, trying to create things that aren’t actually there, so I have no problem with players speaking out openly.

The public would like to see a player who is passionate and who wants to play for their country, not somebody sitting there going, Well, yeah, whatever’s good for the team.’ We don’t want to hear any of that nonsense.

I’m upset, I want to be playing, I should be playing. End of story. I thought it was good to hear.

Great to see West Indies go so well

It’s great to see a competitive series between England and West Indies in this country.

When I played against West Indies, they were good series but we tended to come out on top.

Jason Holder is a lovely guy and he’s got their approach to the game spot on. He is a calming influence, and has got some young batsmen who are beginning to show some patience to go with their skill.

For West Indies cricket, and for the youngsters in the Caribbean, it is great to see them competing again.

The world of cricket deserves a West Indies team that wins.

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Kevin Pietersen

World T20 and four-time Ashes winner, who retired as England’s second-highest run scorer of all time with 13,797 across all formats.

Kevin Pietersen

World T20 and four-time Ashes winner, who retired as England’s second-highest run scorer of all time with 13,797 across all formats.