Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Pietersen choice correct - Marsh
Marsh was impressed by Pietersen's showing as the England Academy
Former selector Rod Marsh believes England have made the right decision in preferring Kevin Pietersen to Graham Thorpe for the first Test.

"Pietersen is a hell of a good player and the Australians will fear him," Aussie great Marsh told BBC Sport.

"They have already seen his ability and particularly his hitting power and he adds a new dimension to the team.

"I think Australia would rather have Thorpe in the side than Pietersen, that's for sure."

Pietersen impressed Marsh during a spell with the England Academy side in India early last year.

Marsh, the former Australia wicket-keeper, steps down from his role as academy director in September, and was removed as a selector earlier this year.

Before moving to England he oversaw the development of many of the Australian side in a similar role in his home country.

"Who knows who will win? I'm quite happy one way or the other," he said.

"There's a lot of boys I know in the England side who've been through the academy and there's a heck of a lot who've been through the academy in Australia, so I can't lose."

I would have gone with Thorpe but I suspect, bar injury, we may have already seen his last Test match for England
Mike Gatting

Marsh dismissed suggestions England had shot themselves in the foot by staging so many one-day matches against Australia, enabling the likes of Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist to find their form.

"They could have played a three-day game against one of the counties and someone would have got a hundred and played themselves into form, so I don't think it's made a lot of difference," he said.

"It's ridiculous to suggest England haven't got a chance and if they don't think they've got a chance then they shouldn't turn up.

Speaking after the selection was announced, former England skipper Mike Gatting warned England fans not to get too carried away with Pietersen.

"I would have gone with Thorpe but I suspect, bar injury, we may have already seen his last Test match for England," said Gatting, England's last Ashes-winning captain.

"The real match winners for me are Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Michael Vaughan.

"If these three show their top form, England can win."

Former Aussie skipper Allan Border thinks Pietersen's selection shows England want to take the game to Australia at Lord's.

"England has made a statement of intent by plumping for attacking, youthful exuberance, which is exciting.

"However think the Aussies still have too much," said Border.

"The bowlers are well matched - bar the Shane Warne factor - but Australia has the edge in batting and this is where the game will be decided."

News conference: Kevin Pietersen

News conference: England chairman of selectors David Graveney

Report: BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport