Flower’s gamble of playing KP as opener may pay-off: Selvey

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2011, 12:16 PM IST

London: Former England fast bowler Mike Selvey reckons that coach Andy Flower’s late tactical switch of using Kevin Pietersen as an opening batsman in the World Cup will prove to be a winner.

England had promoted Pietersen to open the batting in Wednesday’s warm-up game against Canada, and later confirmed that he will stay there for the duration of the sub-continental campaign.

“In giving Pietersen the challenge of getting the innings off to a flyer, Andy Flower is paying some lip service to his ego. In the absence of Eoin Morgan through injury, Pietersen, for all his desperate lack of runs in this form of the game over the past two years since he lost the captaincy and sustained an achilles tendon injury, remains one of the most potentially destructive match-winning batsmen in the game,” Selvey wrote in an article for the Guardian.

“Lack of form is one thing, but his fundamental ability has not deserted him. He thrives on the glamour of the big occasions, in front of large crowds, and loves to be the man. He will find little lateral movement with which to contend, and will have the space beyond the infield to exploit.”

“His destruction of Dale Steyn in the World Twenty20, in which he scored 23 from the eight deliveries bowled to him by the world’s leading fast bowler, shows his appetite for pace,” he added.

England start their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on February 22 in Nagpur, before facing possibly tougher games against India, the West Indies and South Africa in Group B.

ANI