Text: Haresh Pandya
While secretly thanking Indian captain Rahul Dravid for not having enforced the follow-on, England owes a sense of gratitude to Kevin Peter Pietersen as well for helping achieve an honourable draw in the third and final Test at The Oval.
His 101 chasing an improbable target of 500 runs in the fourth innings was a class act, to say the least. But for Pietersen's hundred, England would probably have lost the series 2-0.
It was also yet another Pietersen century (134) that brightened England's chances of winning the first Test at Lord's, and only rain saved India from humiliating defeat. The only time he failed in the series was in the second Test at Trent Bridge, scoring only 13 and 19, and India romped home by 7 wickets.
This goes to show what Pietersen's success and failure mean for England. With 2 fine centuries, he was the only redeeming feature for England in the World Cup dominated by Australia and Sri Lanka.
It is just three years since Pietersen has been spreading his lustre in international cricket. But he has become such an integral part of his adopted country's national team that you that can't imagine it without him.
Image: Pietersen celebrates his century during the fifth day of the third Test against India at the Oval in London on August 13, 2007.
Also see: Pietersen concentrating on the simple things
Photographs: Getty Images