Ian Baker - Pietersen on course for fantasy fortnight
11 May 2010 - 10:49:47
When Kevin Pietersen retires from cricket, he may look back on the last two weeks as the most defining of his career.
An out-of-form Pietersen was expected to struggle in the World Twenty20 with his wife thousands of miles away and impending fatherhood on his mind.
When it was suggested that KP would fly back immediately when his partner was due to give birth, I thought he would be out of sorts and affect the England dressing room too.
Not a bit of it. 73 not out off 52 balls against Pakistan followed by 53 off just 33 balls against the South Africans two days later may just re-start his career, which has seen a dip over the last 12 months.
With impeccable timing just like his father, KP's son was delivered on Monday. New dad was present at the birth and will be back in the Caribbean for England’s semi-final on Thursday. It could not have gone any better.
Pietersen has certainly played his part in Englan's limited overs revival. Three straight wins in the Super Eights has given them a very real chance of actually winning the whole thing.
Pietersen has always been the man England always expect to deliver - but he is not the only one to excel so far.
Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb have yet to score major scores at the top of the order but they have chipped in with the odd 20 and 30 in quick time.
That has allowed the middle order to play without fear of failure. It is a brave new England that the selectors can take great credit for picking.
It is difficult to see England in the position they are in now if they had Jonathan Trott and Joe Denly still nudging and nurdling their way through the opening six overs.
England head the list of top six over totals so far thanks to their top three of Kieswetter, Lumb and Pietersen.
The bowlers have also been most impressive too - Ryan Sidebottom a surprise and justified pick ahead of James Anderson while Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad's slower deliveries have caused problems too. Michael Yardy has proved more than able support for Graeme Swann in the spin department too.
All eyes will now be on Pietersen. Leading England to their first ever cricketing World Cup glory would be a stunning away to end a glorious personal fortnight for the exciting batsman.