Kevin Pietersen’s out of form. Andrew Strauss has developed a problem against left-arm pace. Those were the stories at the start of yesterday’s play and the evidence came in the form of their recent Test records.
When play did occur, Pietersen looked amazing, but he made the grave error of failing to reach three figures. Never mind that his innings was about ten times as good as Alastair Cook’s second innings hundred at Lord’s, it wasn’t a hundred, so in a few weeks’ time it will be all but forgotten. “He’s only hit one Test hundred since March 2009,” they’ll say, even though that hundred was 227 in an Ashes Test and there was also a 99 in that period.
Andrew Strauss was out to a left-armer again. Never mind that it was one who he faced while scoring a hundred for Middlesex a few weeks ago, this was in a Test – this counted.
There’s truth in that, of course, but his form isn’t really so bad. He was England’s best one-day batsman last summer and played one hell of an innings against India in the World Cup. He didn’t get out to a left-arm pace bowler then, did he?
Oh, wait, he did.