Shah the man at three
Kevin Pietersen is confident Owais Shah can shine at number three in England's one-day side.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/09/08 1:13pm
Kevin Pietersen claims Owais Shah can shine at number three in England's one-day side, and go on to make that slot his own given time.
New England skipper Pietersen moved Shah up the batting order to three in one of his first moves in charge, and at Lord's on Sunday the Middlesex man finally made an impact in his new role.
Since moving up from the middle order Shah had made just 35 runs in two previous innings but his entertaining 44 from 40 balls on Sunday helped England to a comprehensive rain-affected victory and go 4-0 up in the series.
Pietersen is sticking to his guns with Shah and believes he will flourish at number three after giving him his full backing.
"You give a guy confidence, and he knows he can come in and play his way and he's going to be backed," said Pietersen.
"I knew he was going to come good. He knew I had the confidence in him, and so did the players, and his county stats prove in first-class cricket he's a great player.
"He deserved a go at three. He's played some fantastic shots, and the way he was talking when I was batting with him was a really good sign of things to come."
After Pietersen and Shah shared a fine 74-run stand at Lord's Andrew Flintoff claimed the glory with an unbeaten 31 from 12 balls to win the match, but he too praised Shah.
"I came in and did what I did and probably took the glory - but the work had been done beforehand," Flintoff insisted.
"The partnership Kevin had with Owais allowed me to come in and play a few shots, because there are still four lads behind me who can do the same job.
"I've played a lot of cricket with Owais since he was about 14, and he's always been a special player - I think there's a hell of a lot more to come from him."