Not much criticism can be levelled against England Captain, Kevin Pietersen at present, particularly as he is unbeaten in any match since his captaincy began in the summer. There are some who suggest that the England squad is a closed shop and there may evidence of that with the central contract award to former captain, Michael Vaughan and the inclusion of test match opener, Alister Cook for the Stanford Super Series. It is not absolutely certain of how much influence, Pietersen had with these decisions, but it is clear that he has endorsed them
With the best will in the world, Vaughan has had a very poor period with the bat in the past twelve months. He has averaged just 27 and has done precious little since he captained the side to their epic Ashes victory in 2005. He jumped before he was pushed from the England captaincy job and it is amazing how he managed to secure such a lucrative contract with the team. It is particularly galling when one considers his age and the fact that players like Ravi Bopara still have to continue waiting.
Admittedly, Bopara has been awarded a place in the squad for the Stanford twenty/20 million dollar series and he may get a nice reward if England goes on to win. However, an unofficial twenty/2o series is scant reward for a player who up until recently was being hailed as the next big thing in cricket. He still has time on his side of course, he has been included for the one day series against India and don top of that he has also been awarded an incremental central contract, which he will be hoping will be his passport for a permanent place today match prediction – todayprediction.in.
Alister Cook’s inclusion for the Stanford series is a real puzzler. He has no twenty/20 form and he was a major doubt for inclusion in the 50 over one day side. Kent followers will be particularly nonplussed by the decision, their two openers, Joe Denly and captain, Robert Key have been in superb form this season, particularly in one dayers. Both would have merited inclusion for both the Stanford and the India tour, but have been omitted. Key of course has had England chances in the past, but Denly, who has won many admirers this season, would have gained great experience. He surely would have been a better bet than Cook.
Graham Napier of Essex could have been another possible, certainly for the Stanford series, but in his case the selectors have probably got it right, believing that his record breaking one off performance in the twenty/20 cup earlier this year was insufficient to gain him a spot.