Strengths and Weaknesses

As always, these are busy times. No sooner have I seen Graeme Smith come out to bat with a broken hand and a chronic elbow injury in an ultimately vain attempt to save the third Test (and more on that later), than I find out that Kevin Pietersen's resigned as England captain, presumably before the powers that be could push him, but not before he'd dragged Peter Moores down with him.

When I wrote about the ongoing situation last week I hadn't thought about the possibility of both men going, but, in retrospect (well, it's hardly that, but you know what I mean), KP overplayed his hand in demanding the removal of Moores without, it must be surmised, much support from elsewhere in the dressing room. Also, reading between various people's lines, it seems as though the subject which brought things to a head for him was the omission of Michael Vaughan from the West Indies party, and it seems to me to have been deeply unwise for him to have made such an issue out of something which could hardly be called controversial. What on earth had Vaughan done to justify a recall?

Where this leaves him, and England, is currently anybody's guess. With little more than a couple of weeks to go before they embark on their next overseas tour, England need to find themselves another captain (Andrew Strauss) and, presumably, a temporary coach.

Pietersen has to deal with the fact that he's lost a rare opportunity - and one which may never come again - and get used to a place back in the ranks. But what's he going to do if the next captain and coach don't meet his approval? Get out altogether (not forgetting to help himself to plenty of IPL rupees on the way home)?

More than one person has pointed out in the last few days that Pietersen's got previous where this type of thing is concerned, as anybody who was around the Notts dressing room a few years ago will testify. And two of the aspects of his personality which go to make him the player he is are the strength of his ego and the toughness of his mentality.

Sometimes, though, as anyone who's watched a lot of cricket will tell you, your strengths can also be your weaknesses.

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