So, England have taken the plunge and dropped Graham Thorpe for Kevin Pietersen at #5.<br />
This is either brilliant or deeply stupid, but it all rests on the top order. If Strauss and Trescothick get good starts, and Vaughn and Bell can keep it going, then KP, Flintoff and Geraint Jones could be the most destructive middle-order the game has seen, well, almost ever. They can all belt quick-fire runs, demoralise bowlers and play merry havoc. <br />
But if the openers fail and wickets fall, how will Pietersen and Freddie deal with a 3-40 or even a 4-30 situation? That’s the moment you want Thorpe in. Hitting your way out of trouble with McGrath and Warne bowling at you might work, but probably not that often. Can KP graft those ugly runs? <br />
If anything, this selection is a huge vote of confidence for the top 4 batsmen. Let’s see if it works. At least in a 5-test series, you have time to get Thorpe back in the side if required.