The ‘Pie’ From Kevin Pietersen That Got Michael Clarke In Troubled Waters
Cricket has had its fair share of charismatic individuals who carry all the quality a superstar brings. They are inspirational, talented, top class achievers and also controversial from time to time. The former years had the likes of Viv Richards, Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Wasim Akram. These men from 70’s, 80’s and the 90’s symbolised these things.
Similarly, the 2000’s also saw a couple of such cricketers who cared less about their surroundings and were probably a bit more outgoing than their peers.
Say, for example, Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen, the South African born English stalwart, is arguably the most talented batsman Test cricket ever witnessed after the flip of the century. He run-scoring abilities and open minded meant that he was touted as an English legend already after a year into Test cricket. Awestruck by his talent, fans and experts assumed he would become the future Test skipper and also end up being the highest run-getter in the Test format for England among many other things.
He was on his way to achieving all these feats. In fact, he did gain some of the distinctions partially before the so-called” attitude problems crept up and finished his career.
This has been his story but in between, there was the golden period too, and it has an Ashes history attached to it.
The ‘golden arm’ moment
After making a sparkling impact in the 2005 Ashes, Pietersen was perhaps at the peak of his career during the 2010 Ashes in Australia.
During the 2nd Test in Adelaide, the right-hander left a substantial impact on the Australians with a career-best knock of 227. This remains one of the best knocks he ever played. But, there’s one more minute yet highly significant moment that made this more memorable – it was the dismissal of Michael Clarke.
England gained a mammoth 375-run lead earlier on day four with the help of Pietersen, but he was not done with his job.
England had just become a bowler short after the departure of Stuart Broad who was out with an injury which was later revealed to be a tour-ending abdominal injury. Lead spinner Graeme Swann was already tired following a marathon spell leaving skipper Andrew Strauss with no option but to turn to Pietersen as the stumps approached.
The Pietermaritzburg-born superstar, who was an off-spinner before moving on to become a batsman, delivered a sweet surprise to his team by picking the wicket of Michael Clarke. He did that within eight balls into his spell, and the scorecard read: ‘Clarke, 80; caught Cook, bowled Pietersen’
“I was an off-spinner, then I turned into a batter who ended up not bowling off-spin,” he explained to cricket.com.au last summer.
“I didn’t enjoy my bowling. I didn’t bowl enough.
“It was a pie. An absolute pie,” he put it bluntly.
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