London, Aug.7 : By restoring Andrew Flintoff to the key all-rounder batting position of number six, England captain Keven Pietersen has sent out a message to his opponents that he means business.
The dramatic change means Pietersen has stamped his authority straight away and has chosen an ultra-aggressive team for the Fourth Test, reports the Daily Express.
KP has gone for the attacking option, sacrificing a batsman to have Flintoff as one of five bowlers and restore him to the role that turned him into a national hero when he helped win back the Ashes against Australia in 2005.
Pietersen, 28, also handed fast bowler Steve Harmison a recall in place of injured Ryan Sidebottom. Stuart Broad is back after missing the Third Test and wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose goes back to No7 - his third different position in the order in three matches.
The selection panel presented Pietersen with a 13-man squad with the intention of Ravi Bopara batting at six, Flintoff at seven and a team containing just four main bowlers.
Pietersen changed all that. And, despite his claims it was a joint decision with coach Peter Moores, the move is smeared with KP's fingerprints.
He explained: "I sat at home chilling on my sofa and chucking around a few ideas. I think we need the extra bowler. It's a positive and aggressive move and looks a strong side. Mooresy and I are singing off the same hymn sheet.
"I like Fred at six, he balances the side. Fred said he'd do whatever we want. He is happy. Ian Bell wants that responsibility of batting at three. He's played 40-odd Test matches but always been up and down the order. Stuart Broad is an interesting character. He is young and fresh and has a real cricketing brain," Pietersen said.
Pietersen also reckons he can push the buttons that make Harmison tick.
"Harmy is absolutely buzzing, you could see the smile on his face. I've had a great relationship with Steve and there's a lot of trust there. I think the big man will deliver for us," he said.
Pietersen says he is determined to salvage some pride for England after a bruising few weeks.
Story first published: Thursday, August 7, 2008, 16:25 [IST]
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