In-form KP ‘desperate’ for recall, Strauss wants ‘relationship’ to improve
Despite being denied a chance to surpass Surrey’s highest ever score set Bobby Abel’s unbeaten 357 way back in 1989, South Africa-born batsman Kevin Pietersen, amassed 355 runs himself on Tuesday against Leicestershire, recording his <g data-gr-id="43">career best</g> score and reaching the highest Championship score of the 21st century when he went past Murray Goodwin’s 344 not out against Glamorgan in 2009. He had hit 34 fours and 14 sixes while Surrey closed on 557 leading by 236 runs at the end of day 3. Having made his first double century since July 12 he accelerated against the tiring visiting bowlers, taking just a further 83 balls to reach his triple century.
As he made his way to the middle, virtually at the same time spoke Andrew Strauss, England and Wales Cricket Board appointment Director and after the sacking of head coach Peter Moores, who had a dismal World Cup said that Pietersen would not be selected in short term, though he would neither be banned from future England action but would not be considered for an England Test recall until this summer’s home Ashes series against rivals Australia, as there are “massive trust issue” between the former <g data-gr-id="44">team mates</g> which is in need of improvement.
Alastair Cook, who made his first century in nearly two years against the West Indies looks to have Strauss’s trust to lead the test team for the upcoming Ashes, while Joe Root has replaced Ian Bell as the test vice-captain.
The 34 year old, who reduced his IPL commitments with Hyderabad Sunrisers to play for Surrey after ECB chairman Colin Graves suggested that an international return might be possible if he scored in domestic cricket had encouraged Pietersen to bid for a place in the national side by scoring heavily on Tuesday against Lancashire. The turbulent relationship between Pietersen and Strauss emerged before a 2012 test series against South Africa.Pietersen was dropped from the England team before the opening encounter for sending messages to the Proteas squad regarding Strauss, his then-captain. The South Africa-born Pietersen returned to the squad in 2013 before being discarded again by the ECB a year later after England’s humiliating Ashes tour, where the side was routed 5-0, and won only one limited-overs game.
With his eroding relationship with the ECB, it was decided that it would be in the best interests to exclude Kevin Pietersen from the national team. `Andrew Strauss said, “There is a massive trust issue between me and Kevin. I wish it wasn’t the case. I can’t give him any <g data-gr-id="31">guarantees</g> but nobody knows what will happen in the future.” The 34-year-old was sacked by England in February 2014.
From Kevin Pietersen’s point of <g data-gr-id="35">view</g> he has to score his way back into the national side. Speaking on Monday, Pietersen said he was “desperate” to return to the international game, adding “Personal differences have got nothing to do with what the public wants. The public just wants to see the England team winning. What more can I do? All I can do is score runs. I’m incredibly proud of how I played under pressure,” he said. His career has been an impressive one as he has notched up 8,181 runs and 23 centuries in 104 Tests.