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Thank you, KP

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Appreciation post time!

Kevin Pietersen graced Australia with his skills for the final time with a Man of the Match performance for Melbourne Stars against Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL on Saturday night. It’s now nearly the end for a superb batsman.

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Kevin Pietersen has been a wonderful player. His personality and the way he conducted himself at times may not have sat well with everyone, but when it came to cricketing ability and pure talent, KP had it in spades. His numbers were fantastic, but it is not simply his numbers alone that put him among England’s greats. His presence could be felt every time he walked out to bat, even before facing a ball, and was a player who put spectators on the edge of their seats. Something was always going to happen. KP was never going to let the bowlers settle. He always loved a battle, and it was bloody awesome to watch.

Great players have the ability to put bowlers under pressure, and KP did just that right throughout his career. It didn’t always come off, and he was often heavily criticised for it, but he never let external factors impact the way he went about his game. Great players believe they are the best, and KP certainly believed in his ability. Great players never shy away from a battle, and KP walked straight into many a battle, and won many, too. His swagger at the crease was there to see in his first 21 ODI innings, where he equalled Sir Vivian Richards’ record for the fastest ever to 1,000 ODI runs. Then, against one of the best Test sides in the 2005 Ashes, in his first ever Test series, he showed everyone that a truly fine career is on the cards with 473 runs at 52.55.

Nearly 14,000 international runs later, KP truly lived up to his potential. It is a great shame that his England career was cut short, when he still had batting left in him, but KP left me, and surely many others, with awesome memories.

In this article, I will list my five favourite Kevin Pietersen innings that were truly memorable, and helped pencil him in as one of England’s greats.

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5. 

108* v South Africa, Bloemfontein, 2004

His first ODI hundred came against the country of his birth, South Africa, where he did not receive a friendly welcome from the Bloemfontein crowd. Did KP let this affect him? No chance.
He had played only four ODIs before this game, and three were against lowly Zimbabwe as they began their decline. A player in just his 4th ODI, facing a hostile environment with boos all round the ground targeted at you takes mental strength to overcome. Like he did for the remainder of his career, KP responded by taking the game to the opposition.
His strokeplay was simply superb, and responded to the boos with beautiful shot after beautiful shot. This was a player who was not going to go into his shell.
KP announced himself as a future star with his 1st ODI hundred in challenging circumstances

4.

One of KP’s most underrated knocks

129 v New Zealand, Napier, 2008

On the first morning of the deciding third Test of England’s tour of New Zealand, England were 3 down for just 4 runs, with Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook all back in the pavilion within six overs. With the series on the line, KP played an absolute gem, scoring 129 out of England’s first innings total of 253 all out. 
His strike rate was a superb 62, in an innings where no other England player had a strike rate of over 50. The next best scorer was Stuart Broad with 42. This innings was one of the most underrated KP innings, which helped England eventually win the Test by 121 runs.

3.

227 v Australia, Adelaide, 2010


Kevin Pietersen put on a masterclass in Adelaide against Australia, that demanded that every one just watched his every move. What was special about this innings was how he bounced back to form after a poor home series against Pakistan just a few months earlier.
His double hundred in Adelaide was his first international hundred for 18 months, and the way he played, you’d have thought he was in the form of his life in the lead up to the 2010/11 Ashes. Whatever plans Australia had in place for him, including some short ball tactics, he answered with disdain. He made Australia’s attack look third rate, and England eventually won by an innings and 71 runs, where KP was named Man of the Match.
KP took Australia apart in Adelaide

2.

158 v Australia, The Oval, 2005


When I think of great KP innings, one of the first that come to mind was his magnificent 158 that finally took the Ashes away from Australia for the first time in nearly two decades. Glenn McGrath had nipped out two early wickets on Day 5, which gave Australia hope of retaining the Ashes in a rain-affected final Test. However, KP had other ideas.
The reason this isn’t number one for me is because he had plenty of luck early on, including that infamous dropped catch by Shane Warne at first slip. Before lunch on the fifth day, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee were all over KP. I remember thinking at the time that the lunch break could be the worst thing for Australia, because it might help KP reassess and come out with a different mindset. He came out and then dictated terms to the same bowlers who had him under the pump just moments earlier, and played an innings, full of incredible strokeplay that told the world that a special player is well and truly here.
KP helped England win the Ashes in 2005

1.

186 v India, Mumbai, 2012


Like England’s Ashes drought which KP helped England break, Kevin Pietersen played one of the all-time amazing innings on a raging turner in Mumbai, which was a catalyst in helping England break their India drought.
When describing KP’s greatness, you must refer to this innings! Great players can make batting look ridiculously easy at times, even in the most challenging of circumstances. With England facing a no series wins in India since 1986, KP walked out and told us “this is my time”, showing off amazing and audacious strokeplay as if he was batting on a flat road against club bowlers.
In the first innings, KP along with Cook helped England to 413, and then India were bundled out for 142, which shows how difficult the pitch was for batting. Difficult pitch? KP struck at nearly 80 runs per 100 balls, which illustrated what a superb player he was. England had lost the first Test comfortably, but as KP showed many times in his career, when punches were being thrown in his direction, he threw double the amount back, and helped England win the second Test.
KP’s best ever knock. 
—-
KP, in a conservative England culture, spoke and played freely, which showed in his batting. We’ll see him play in Australia for the final time, and I hope he can score big to go out with a bang.
A super player.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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