Strauss backs KP revival
Andrew Strauss is backing Kevin Pietersen to shake off his recent bad form when England take on Pakistan in their four-Test series.
Last Updated: 19/07/10 8:03pm
Andrew Strauss is backing Kevin Pietersen to shake off his recent run of bad form when England take on Pakistan in the upcoming four-Test series.
Strauss remains unconcerned that Pietersen has failed to get past 50 runs in 17 one-day internationals - his last significant one-day score was an unbeaten 111 against India in November 2008.
But the England captain is confident that his star batsman, who recently became a father for the first time, can bounce back against Pakistan.
"Kevin has just turned 30 but he has got a lot of cricket left in him," said Strauss. "He has had a tough time, there is no doubt about that.
"He has not scored as many runs as he has done in the past. But he is a high-quality cricketer and he will come back and play match-winning innings for us.
"He has had a bit of a break and that has been well received. A new addition to the family changes your priorities a bit and you need to get your life in order. I think he will come out and play really well against Pakistan.
"Kevin wants to be a great cricketer and he knows the way to do that is by scoring runs consistently and putting in match-winning performances and I have no worries that he will do that."
Strauss also believes that the four-Test series, which begins at Trent Bridge on July 29, will provide other players with opportunities to stake a claim for a place in the side.
Middlesex team-mate Eoin Morgan in particular is hoping to further his case for an Ashes call-up with some eye-catching performances against Pakistan.
And Strauss has no doubts the Dublin-born left-hander can make the transition from the shorter form of the game to Test match cricket.
"There is everything to play for in the next four matches," he added. "They are an opportunity for people to stick their hands up and say 'you have got to pick me'.
"Eoin's two greatest strengths are that he can play the situation exceptionally well in the shorter forms of the game and he has the game to adapt to any conditions he encounters.
"There is no reason why he can't bring that strength to Test cricket. He has a clear mind, reads the situation well, and he can play in a number of different ways.
"That flexibility is a great strength and if he does get the chance to play, it will be great to see him transfer that from the shorter form into the longer form of the game.
"There is no reason in my mind at least that he cannot go on and have a successful Test career as well."