Kevin Pietersen isn’t a scapegoat…

…he’s the problem.

OK so he’s not the only problem with the current England set-up that led to the 5-0 whitewash thumping handed out to them by Australia in this Ashes series. But he’s the start of it all.

Pietersen isn’t a self-obsessed arsehole then Andrew Strauss is still the captain – do you really believe if it wasn’t for KP then Strauss would be sitting boring us in the Sky commentary box – and Alastair Cook wouldn’t have those dead eyes.

Now there probably isn’t much difference between Strauss and Cook as captains. Both got that spread the the field as soon as someone hits a four mentality but you feel Strauss knew a bit more about getting the best out of his players, better at marshalling the troops.

But most of all it could allow Cook to concentrate solely on his batting, which has suffered to the extreme in this series. Ten innings and three scores over 50, top of 72. Five innings that didn’t reach double figures.

Last time out there it all started with Cook’s big scores. With him wandering back to the pavilion with a couple of runs on the board in the first couple of overs it stops everything in it’s track. With Strauss at the other end with the captaincy burden it would have been a different game.

Don’t want to criticise Carberry too much, was top over all run getter for England, but he didn’t really help. While he wasn’t ineptly giving his wicket away as others were, he didn’t do much. Compact, dig in, style that doesn’t help a struggling captain at the other end. You just can’t see him coming down the pitch, patting Cook on the shoulder and saying Play yourself in skip, I’ll keep the board ticking over for the both of us. Well he might say it but he couldn’t do it.

And then you have Pietersen saying It’s the way I play. Is there anything more annoying than that phrase with that accent?

Well Kev, when you play properly you score runs, as you did the one time you played properly. When you play for the team and not for your ego, when you put your mind to it, play yourself in the runs come. When you go on an ego driven slashfest, that starts with a mad dash almost run-out to get off the mark, you get out with stupid shots.

And that’s what we normally get and this is the selfish, I love me who is your second choice, that Michael Vaughan wants made vice captain.

As said Pietersen isn’t the only one. Funny how without Cook and Trott’s big scores this time round Ian Bell did bugger all. Bottler Bell, cowering at five hoping someone will get a score so he can milk some easy runs as he did so well before. But then if they fail he can fall back on the excuse of being left with the tail. Funny that Haddin was constantly left with the tail, yet scored runs and didn’t just slap innocuous bowling, Lyon, straight into the midriff of the most convenient fielder.

Didn’t even bother putting on a score when his place was being questioned.

Unlike Anderson who finally got some wickets when his name was mentioned for the chop. A whole 4 in one whole inning, of course when it was all lost in the fourth test. Classic England player.

Classic but not great. Keep seeing people claiming Anderson is a great. I’ve previously posted about footballers can’t be great when they look permanently confused. Anderson looks confused. Roy Keane said recently about Ryan Giggs – who also looks permanently confused – you can have a great career without being a great player.

Anderson is not a great of the game, or even for England. The number of wickets show a great career. But to be a great you can’t rely on everything being in your favour to get wickets. For Anderson everything has to be in place. The wrong type of ball, wrong overhead weather conditions, wrong type of pitch – just one has to be wrong – and you get nothing but him being slapped around. Medium paced, wide, long-hops don’t make for a great bowler.

It’s not just that but the wickets he takes, as posted in the summer it’s not the top order batsmen he’s getting. In the ten innings he bowled, opening the bowling in each, he got one of the opening pair out 3 times only. He only got one of the top four out 8 times. So less than once an inning he got a top four wicket.

That in no way can be classed as great. Ah but the ball was different and it wasn’t swinging or revers…

Oh and don’t fall for that great Australian team either. Really, bar Clarke, how many would get anywhere near an all time Aussie XI? And Clarke would struggle. Mitchell now the greatest? Er, no, England just made him look good as they have done with so many before. If they could play fast bowling, duck and weave or take it like Closey did with no body armour or helmet, and didn’t waft their bats at any old thing then he wouldn’t hit their stumps or pads. They wouldn’t get out.

It’s time to throw the baby out with the bath water. Pietersen, Bell and Anderson are a good start

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