Two to Watch – Kevin Pietersen & Graham Smith
This entry was posted on Monday, April 7th, 2014
Surrey Seems to be the Hardest Word
Having been relegated last season, Surrey start their 2014 campaign in the Second Division. The shame of it. Yet expect them to eat up more column inches than many of their Division 1 counterparts – two of cricket’s deadliest rivals just happen to be sharing their dressing room one again. Former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith once admitted he, “didn’t like KP,” whilst Pietersen responded by calling Smith an, “absolute muppet.” Their impact last year was minimal, but with neither now playing international cricket, expect a different story.
Surrey’s strong T20 showing (finishing runners-up) helped hide a Pro40 performance as poor as their four-day game. But this year will surely equal improvement. Graeme Smith may not be the player he was a few years ago, but should feast on Division 2 bowlers. And then there is KP. There arguably wont be a more motivated sportsman in the country than Pietersen this season (who has a lot of people to prove wrong), and with his old Natal mentor Graham Ford as Head Coach, KP will fire when he’s around (and not cashing in on international T20 contests.)
Surrey are rightly 3.75 favourites, and with a decent weather forecast predicted for Southern England throughout the summer, still represent value. But where they should really do some KP-inspired damage is in the NatWest T20 – priced at 10 despite being the runners-up last time out – this is a price to get right on.