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from Left field:

Does sporting immortality still beckon for Pietersen?

CRICKET/A casual remark from Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz last week illustrated how swiftly life moves on in elite sport.

Riaz was asked which of the five England wickets he had captured in his test debut at the Oval had given him the most satisfaction.

The answer was not Kevin Pietersen, England's premier batsman with more than 5,000 test runs and 16 centuries. Instead Riaz nominated Eoin Morgan, scorer of 234 runs with one century.

Even six months ago such a statement would have seemed inconceivable.

One transcendent innings at Lord's in the final test against Pakistan this week would silence the doubters but something is clearly something amiss with Pietersen, who has not scored a test century since March last year. He dropped out of the 2009 Ashes series with injury and averages 28 in the current series against Pakistan, including 80 at Edgbaston where he was dropped three times.