England coach Andy Flower has challenged under-fire wicket-keeper batsman Craig Kieswetter to confound his critics and return a more rounded performer.
South-Africa-born Kieswetter, who qualified for England through residency earlier this year, has enjoyed a rollercoaster start to his international career. He scored a maiden ODI hundred against Bangladesh in only his third appearance, and then went on to earn Man of the Match honours in the World Twenty20 final.
But since then, times have been somewhat leaner, with the 22-year-old, scoring only 121 runs in eight ODIs against Australia and Bangladesh. Now questions are being raised about his technique and indeed his temperament, something Flower says he needs to address in order to take the next step.
“Craig has had an interesting time of it recently,” said Flower. “He’s gone from scoring a hundred in his third ODI, to getting the Man of the Match award in the Twenty20 World Cup final, and being a World Cup winner, when a lot of English players haven’t. So he’s up there achieving that, and then he’s had a bit of a hard one-day series.
“But international cricket can do that to you. It can teach you some lessons and perhaps expose a few doubts.
“I think in the long run for Craig it might be a very healthy thing to have happened, in that by the time he plays for England again, he’ll need to have made his package stronger. There are a number of things he can learn from the last nine one-day internationals, and it is his job and responsibility to go away, work hard with Somerset and come back a stronger package.
“He’s very, very talented, and hits the ball beautifully, as well as I’ve ever seen anyone hit the ball. But he’s got to work out how to score runs. Jayasuriya did it, as an attacking opening bat, and so must he.”