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What if Wednesday| What if ECB decided to recall KP post his County triple ton

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KP's intriguing career was cut short by ECB

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What if Wednesday| What if ECB decided to recall KP post his County triple ton

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Harshit Anand

11/11/2020

Touted as one of the greatest tragedies for the English cricket fans, the doors of national selection were closed on Kevin Pietersen due to ‘massive trust issues’ as he ended his career prematurely in 2014. But what if he played for England after a great 2015 Country season, let's find out. 

There are some endings that leave dagger in our hearts and contemplate why on this freaking earth it didn't finish the way it should have. Such was the case with the maverick Kevin Pietersen, whose career was marred and cut short by controversies. He was one of the biggest geniuses of his time and the world still regrets the fact that Andrew Strauss, the newly appointed England director of cricket back then in 2015 finished his career alongside the top ECB brass over trust issues when he was just 34. But, today we will tell you what might have happened in an alternate world had KP been brought back?

So, it's May 2015 and Kevin Pietersen stamps his authority in County cricket with his maiden first-class triple century for Surrey, thereby standing tall on ECB's new chairman, Colin Graves' demand to see him score runs in the domestic competition, for which KP even missed the 2015 edition of the IPL. 

But the very next day, Strauss states that KP's career is over, which is not taken well by the media and fans alike, as they think that the new director is purely taking out personal vendetta for the 'Text gate'. The whole press goes gaga over the apparent injustice done to him, also the fact that England just recently ended with a drawn series against a lowly ranked West Indies and had also lost home series against Sri Lanka.

Taking KP's exceptional from into account, England's recent travails, the huge public outrage over Strauss's statement, Jonathan Trott's retirement, Pietersen is finally added to the squad for the home New Zealand Tests but he's clearly told that he wouldn't get any special privileges and would have to fight hard to earn his respect in the dressing room and a place in the XI.   

But, it's hard for even someone like KP to make it to the XI in the series as the English middle-order is filled with good performers like Ballance, Buttler, Stokes, and Root while Ian Bell also retains his place despite an average preceding series against West Indies. England wants to invest in youth after Trott's retirement and can't have both Bell and KP in the XI. It's also a great test to assess how KP is around the group when not in limelight given his past history. 

Pietersen impresses one and all with his conduct and is drafted in the English ODI XI ahead of Sam Billings against New Zealand. Now, this is a new look English white-ball outfit and Eoin Morgan combines with Kevin Pietersen to start off a new era in limited-overs cricket in English history as they exhibit unbelievable fearlessness and innovation to trump the World Cup finalists New Zealand 4-1. 

As a result of great form, the South African born cricketer not only makes to the English squad ahead of Ian Bell for the home Ashes but also in the XI as Bell could only manage seven fifty-plus-scores in the last 17 Tests with his average falling down to 10.75 against New Zealand. This also marks the beginning of the end for Ian Bell's glorious Test career.

England win the Ashes series 3-1. As for KP, after a quite first four Tests, and questions over his place, he takes his nemesis Australia by the scruff of their neck as he smashes a brilliant 170 in the final innings of the 5th Test at the Oval, with England following on, forming big partnerships with Cook and Buttler to help save the game and again showing how much England missed this freak of a batsman. Finally, it feels that the English star is back across formats.

After conquering Australia at home in the Ashes series, England travel to UAE to play Pakistan. With England on the back foot after the first two Tests, and Pakistan leading the series 1-0, it again takes a marathon Cook-KP partnership, two men who had fallen out, in the third Test in Sharjah, much like the Oval Test to rescue the Three Lions. While Cook bats solidly, KP unleashes his switch-hits, classic dance down the track, and all the tricks in his repertoire to tame Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah as England level the series with many comparing KP's 128 in Sharjah to his Mumbai 186 epic in 2012. KP is rested for the limited-overs leg of the tour.

Now, one of the surprising things by England is they haven't been playing KP in T20 internationals, which makes people doubt whether he is being considered for the 2016 WT20 or not. Anyways, going forward England fly to South Africa and the seasoned campaigner is named across formats, killing all the doubts about his place for the WT20.

England win the Test series while they lose the ODI series against South Africa with Pietersen blowing hot and cold throughout. However, the two-match T20I series is what interests the people given it will the biggest audition for KP who last played a T20I in 2013. He starts off with a bang as he makes a fifty in Cape Town in the first game batting at 3 in place of Joe Root to boost his chances for WC.

No wonder, England include Kevin Pietersen for the 2016 T20 World Cup in India and decide to drop Ben Stokes as he was averaging 14.33 with the bat and had just four wickets after 11 T20Is.

Kevin Pietersen emerges as the star of English batting with three fifties in five games alongside Root and Buttler while Willey and Jordan's superlative performances help England reach the finals against West Indies, as both the sides stand just one step away from becoming the first-ever teams to win two T20 WCs.

In the big final in Kolkata amid much fanfare, batting first, England make a formidable 170 as their three musketeers, Root, KP, and Buttler strike again to help England counterattack after being 8 for 2. 

Eoin Morgan in an inspired bowing move hands over the ball to Moeen Ali given his record against southpaws and he not only sends back the danger Gayle but also Charles in the very first over. From there on, West Indies play the catch-up game throughout. Moeen and Root complete the quota of the fifth bowler and Willey continues his great run of form with three wickets.  Jordan, Plunkett, and Rashid also do their job efficiently.

In a fitting manner, Kevin Pietersen takes the final catch to dismiss Marlon Samuels after he wages a lone battle with 85* as Windies fall short by 30 runs. Following the catch, KP takes off his English jersey, flashes his white shirt which reads, "Yeah talk nah Strauss, you don't trust me, people do, you never won World Cups, I have won two", which makes Ian Bishop, in his own charismatic manner, scream out his lungs, "Remember the Name" Kevin Pietersen, you may love him, you may hate him, but can never ignore him.

KP is adjudged Man-of-the-Tournament for the second time in England's WT20 win and announces his retirement in the presentation ceremony, thanking the English media, fans, and his teammates for making it possible to end his career on a glorious note.

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