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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Three into two won't go
Can Kevin Pietersen convert one-day form into Test heroics?
Can Kevin Pietersen convert one-day form into Test heroics?
Making difficult choices is part and parcel of a selector's life.

But few have been more difficult than the one facing the England selection panel ahead of the Ashes series against Australia.

Kevin Pietersen's brilliant match-winning innings in the one-day international at Bristol has increased the clamour for his inclusion in the Test side.

But Graham Thorpe and Ian Bell are the men 'in possession' in the middle order and three into two won't go.

BBC Sport asked 10 cricket figures to don their selectorial hats and make their choice.

Interestingly, none suggested dropping Bell, with support for Pietersen marginally outweighing the Thorpe camp.

GLAMORGAN CAPTAIN ROBERT CROFT

"It's a tough one. To start, I think I'd probably pick Bell and Thorpe. I'm not saying Pietersen won't have a role to play somewhere down the line in the series, but Bell got a hundred against Bangladesh and Thorpe's experience is needed."

Verdict: Pietersen must wait

ENGLAND WOMEN'S CAPTAIN CLARE CONNOR

"I'd definitely pick Pietersen. He's said he thinks he could be even better in the longer form of the game and I want to see if he can play with the same flair and dominance. Bell has earned his chance and hasn't put a foot wrong."

Verdict: Time for Thorpe to go

ENGLAND TEAM-MATE PAUL COLLINGWOOD

"Kevin is a very confident lad and he takes the game to the opposition. I'm sure the England selectors have plans for the Ashes but he's certainly not doing himself any harm the way he's going now."

Verdict: Sitting on the fence

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN RAY ILLINGWORTH

"I would certainly play Pietersen at the moment but I wouldn't really have a preference either way for the other two. It might come down to whether they want an extra left-hander in Thorpe."

Verdict: Pietersen plus one of the other two

FORMER GLAMORGAN CAPTAIN STEVE JAMES

"I've been a bit wary of Pietersen's technique all along but I was at Bristol yesterday to see first-hand what he can do. The problem is who do you leave out? If it was tomorrow I would go with Bell and Thorpe but the Pietersen bandwagon is picking up pace."

Verdict: Bell and Thorpe - for now

FORMER ENGLAND BATTING ACE ROBIN SMITH

"I would probably go for the in-form batsmen, and that means Bell and Pietersen. Thorpe has a fine record but I hate to sit on the fence and I think it's time for the youngsters, who come with a positive mind, to be given their chance."

Verdict: Thorpe has to miss out

FORMER ENGLAND SEAMER ANGUS FRASER

"I would question Thorpe as he is going to retire at the end of the summer. Both Atherton and Stewart had poor final series when they knew they were going to call it a day at the end of the summer."

Verdict: Bell and Pietersen get the verdict

FORMER TEST MATCH UMPIRE DICKIE BIRD

"I would go for Thorpe because of his vast experience against Australia and I think that fella Bell is going to be a fine player in Test matches because he's got such a good technique."

Verdict: Bell and Thorpe keep their places

FORMER ENGLAND PACEMAN DEVON MALCOLM

"Pietersen's an awfully confident guy. He thinks he can move the world and will just try to hit guys like Jason Gillespie further and further - that's what you've got to do against Australia."

Verdict: Time for young blood, so no Thorpe.

CHAIRMAN OF SELECTORS DAVID GRAVENEY

"We'll select the team after the one-day series is over. But as I said to him 'If you present a case, you'll be considered', and you can't present a better case than Kevin's doing at the present time."

Verdict: Giving nothing away except, perhaps, a strong hint?




VOTE RESULTS
How should England's Test selectors react to Pietersen's one-day heroics?
Pick him and drop Thorpe
36%
Pick him and drop Bell
40%
Leave him out for time being
24%
44441 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed



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