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Page last updated at 21:43 GMT, Sunday, 16 May 2010 22:43 UK

Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood celebrate
Pietersen (left) has inspired Paul Collingwood's side in the West Indies

Given the form they have shown throughout the World Twenty20, England's victory in the final is not a surprise.

Perhaps it was unexpected that Australia would be beaten in such a convincing way but England have been playing some superb cricket in recent weeks and are thoroughly deserving winners.

They have been calm under pressure, shown innovation and adapted well to the conditions of every pitch. It has been a pleasure to watch.

The England bowlers were excellent again on Sunday and it is certainly fair to say the game was won early on with the new ball.

The Aussies were unable to match their opponents with the ball and it was intriguing that they didn't seem to have a plan B. So far in the competition their bullying pace attack has had it pretty much all their own way but after they failed to break through England, they had nothing to fall back on.

The day belonged to Collingwood's side though. Graeme Swann was outstanding yet again and everything they tried in the field seemed to come off. The batting was equally impressive and I certainly hope England continue to play this way in the 50-over game.

There is little reason why they cannot do that. Andrew Strauss will have to come back in but Craig Kieswetter really should be opening now for England in 50-over cricket. He hits the ball hard over the inner ring right from the off and that is the way we should be going in all limited overs.

Anyone who says he should replace Matt Prior in the Test side should forget it though. He gives the ball a biff for sure but his keeping is not good enough yet.

Kevin Pietersen was bouncing around like Tigger after the final and it was absolutely right that he should be named player of the tournament. Kevin is a player that needs to be loved and getting that accolade will restore his confidence even more.

He sets himself high standards and it's fair to say he has had a bad year. Now he is back in the groove and after this he can return to the UK to be with his new baby a happy man.

The England selectors are going down a dangerous alley. It is up to them to make sure the integrity of the England team is kept intact.

The issue of foreign players representing England is bound to surface again though in the wake of this final and I for one totally understand the concerns.

Let me say straight away that I understand both sides of the argument and I have sympathy for everyone involved. But I feel very uncomfortable about the likes of Kieswetter playing for England.

There has to be an incentive for county players to play for England and when you see someone like Kieswetter come in and overtake others to get the nod, it must be extremely disheartening.

I was once one of those players; a youngster who was desperate to push on and play for my country so can understand how it feels.

I feel so sorry for the likes of Chris Read and James Foster who have been playing well but have seen Kieswetter come through and play for England ahead of them.

Indeed, last year we were all told that Steven Davies was the best thing since sliced bread and now Kieswetter is opening the batting and keeping wicket. I would not have picked him, although Kevin Pietersen is a slightly different case because he did not play for South Africa U-19s.

It is very difficult for players to adopt another country. I remember asking Craig White about that a few years ago and he said you cannot do it. Of course you can't.

The England selectors are going down a dangerous alley. It is up to them to make sure the integrity of the England team is kept intact and we need to keep it just that - an England team.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Harry Reekie.



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see also
World Twenty20 final as it happened
16 May 10 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 final photos
25 Sep 12 |  Cricket
England 'deserve' world triumph
16 May 10 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
14 May 10 |  Cricket
Aussies stun Pakistan in thriller
14 May 10 |  Cricket
Classy England cruise into final
13 May 10 |  England
Aussies crush Windies to advance
12 May 10 |  Cricket
Fluent Aussies overpower Pakistan
02 May 10 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Women's World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Women's cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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