Pietersen and D’Oliveira: poles apart and peas in a pod

So have we been witnessing the greatest southern African batsman to play for England? Kevin Pietersen has some worthy rivals. There is Tony Greig, flamboyant and defiant against Lillee and Thomson; Allan Lamb and Robin Smith, brave and bruised against the West Indies of the Eighties and Nineties; Graeme Hick, prolific everywhere except the Test arena.

I think Pietersen has all these names covered: he is more compact than Greig, more driven than Smith, more productive than Lamb and so much more contented in the limelight than Hick. Pietersen’s blistering Lord’s century takes his Test average back above 50. End of the debate? Not quite. Consider one Basil D’Oliveira.