Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lucky 13?

The England cricket team's selection policy for opening batsmen is similar to that used by successive British governments for picking transport ministers. Everyone gets a go in the end.

I'm in Dhaka for the start of the World Cup and this morning's big news is that Kevin Pietersen is being given a go as Andrew Strauss's opening partner in their warm-up match with Canada. I'm surprised that Pietersen hasn't been tried in the position before. His natural aggression would seem suited to the powerplay overs at the start of a match where there are more gaps in the field.

Assuming that he is retained for the first proper match of the tournament, against the Netherlands on Tuesday, Pietersen would be Strauss's thirteenth opening partner in one-day matches and they would be the 21st different first-wicket pair tried since the start of the last World Cup, which is remarkable inconsistency even for England.

The previous 12 to open with Strauss are Trescothick, Bell, Loye, Joyce, Vaughan, Wright, Bopara, Davies, Denly, Kieswetter, Trott and Prior.

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