Dear Kevin Pietersen ,
Below, thanks to YouTube and Channel 4, is some film of your remarkable 2005 Ashes innings at the Oval. It’s a chance for you to watch yourself batting against the best pace and spin around at the time. Sure, you had some luck but there’s ample proof of the brilliance that was all of your own.
At the time you were reinventing the art of batting, something that only a few have been able to do in a game that has been played for hundreds of years. It was little short of a revolution in technique.
Look at the extent of the openness of your pre-trigger stance to McGrath, for example, at 23 seconds. By 24 seconds you have taken a huge step across and moved the front foot down towards the bowler. Your head, upright and still, is a good six inches outside the line of off stump guard.
A slow motion sequence from a camera angle across from extra cover shows the process. Stop to see frames at 41, 42 and 43 seconds.
The reason that the selectors thought you might struggle and left you out of the 2005 Bangladesh series was in fact the reason that you would actually excel. You tore up the text book, but this was your strength not your weakness.
A series of dismissals to left arm orthodox spin seems to have persuaded you to stay more leg side of the ball. As the film below of you batting against Mohammid Asif shows, you have scaled down the trigger so that you are batting nearer to the line of the middle and off stumps.
Just as your giant stride destroys length, once upon a time your trigger destroyed the corridor of uncertainty. You have surrendered this territory back to the bowler almost as if you have been battered, finally, into responding to the concerns of those selectors five years ago.
Could there be a better place than the Oval to rediscover the old you? But leave the hair and the Woodworm to history.