When England’s Kevin Pietersen bats against South Africa in a crucial World Cup Super Eights match on Tuesday he will be short of neither motivation nor confidence. That Pietersen reserves his best against the country of his birth can be gauged from his average of 151.33 against South Africa, and 56.55 overall.
Pietersen is currently in good form, having scored England’s only century of the tournament against Australia in the Super Eights. England supporters hope he continues in the same vein in a match they need to win to sustain their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals. If South Africa are successful, they will be in the last four.
Lurking beneath the surface is a bitter relationship between Pietersen, who was condemned as an opportunist when he decided to qualify for England after protesting against the quota system in South Africa, and the opposition captain Graeme Smith. The two have been engaged in a torrid war of words for two years.
“Everyone knows we don’t get on for whatever reasons, but that’s gone,” Pietersen said. “It’s not about myself, Smith, Andre Nel or Michael Vaughan on Tuesday, it’s about producing a big team performance.
“I wouldn’t say that it is the game that matters to me more than the others because the match against Australia is big as well, but it’s an important game for me and I look forward to it. It’s going to be a big game with a lot of needle. I don’t know why there is needle between the two sides other than there are some really world-class players on both the sides.”
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Monday, April 16th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.
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