Does England need Kevin Pietersen?

Kevin Pietersen hasn’t played for England since January 2014.

Since then, they have performed horribly.

The thing is…does Kevin Pietersen help or hinder England’s performance?

Using ESPN Cricinfo’s Statsguru tool (all stats are set for the last 10 years), I crunched the numbers on a variety of stats:

Win % against other Test teams, with KP and without KP

  • Bangladesh: 100% with KP, 100% without KP
  • West Indies: 50% with KP, 33.3% without KP
  • New Zealand: 50% with KP, 50% without KP*
  • India: 44.7% with KP, 20% without KP
  • Pakistan: 42.9% with KP, N/A without KP
  • South Africa: 40% with KP, 0% without KP
  • Australia: 33.3% with KP, 33.3% without KP
  • Sri Lanka: 27.3% with KP, 0% without KP

They perform worse than usual in almost all circumstances, including the fact they can’t win against the country he was born in without him. Now, how about:

Win % in England or abroad

  • In England: 56.7% with KP, 50% without KP
  • Abroad: 25% with KP, 25% without KP

You immediately notice their horrible away record, but there’s not really much difference.

Runs per innings (team)

  • With KP: 304.9
  • Without KP: 329.2

Wow, that’s unexpected. The increase of 8%, and the fact that England average 300 runs per innings.

Runs per over

  • With KP: 3.27
  • Without KP: 3.43

Again, an increase without KP (5%). Is he really that necessary?

Runs per wicket

  • With KP: 36.32
  • Without KP: 38.25

All of these have had increases, they’ve just not been significant. And lastly:

Balls per wicket

  • With KP: 61.8
  • Without KP: 54.3

So, what’s the meaning we can draw from all these stats? England doesn’t need Kevin Pietersen. They can have him in the team if they want, but it wouldn’t make any difference. It’s just that the wimps running the circus that is the ECB are terrified of KP ECB doesn’t see the value of putting him in the side sometimes.

(P.S. Thanks to everyone who saw the link on Dennis Freedman’s Twitter and looked at it. You guys are legends.)

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