Cricketers come in two types: those prepared to go with the flow of the game, and those who want to change it. It is the latter type on whom most anticipation descends, and about whom, when the actions stops, most of the bar-room conversation revolves. They might not dominate the dry and dusty record books but they are the life-blood of the game.
Kevin Pietersen is one such player, as colourful as there is right now, and yesterday he showed why once again. It was as if, having played like a novice in Tests for most of the winter, having poked and prodded like an uncertain schoolboy, and having spoken warily about how the advent of DRS had changed the game, he suddenly remembered what he was put on a cricket field for. Not to worry about the dangers lurking around every corner, but to entertain. Majestically.
He scored his twentieth Test hundred in the grandest style imaginable, celebrated in his uniquely over-the-top fashion when, having reverse swept Tillakaratne Dilshan for two in an over which yielded 19 runs, he ran three-quarters of the way to the boundary, got down on one knee and pumped his right fist repeatedly to the floor. All the frustration of a winter, in which his previous highest Test score was 32, dissipated in that moment. Quite a warm-up for the Indian Premier League……..