As an England supporter, I cannot quite understand the frequency with which my fellow countrymen poke fun and spit mirth at Kevin Pietersen. Sure KP walks a fine line at times between confidence and arrogance, and he does have a tendency to mince a bit at times, but we believe he doesn't get a fair press. He doesn't always get it right - we'll readily admit that the cover photo on Wisden Cricketer earlier this year, did make him look a bit of a smug plank.
But to coincide with yet another match-winning KP innings, which saw England beat the reigning champions Pakistan in the first Super Eight match yesterday, here are eight reasons why the doomsayers should get behind KP and forgive him his foibles and the fact that he is really South African.
1. He is England's best test batsman. Indeed, with the possible exception of Strauss, KP is England's only world-class test batsman and the only one even close to averaging 50.
2. He is also arguably England's best ODI and T20 batsman; although Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan respectively run him close here.
3. Without his 158 at the Oval in 2005, England's final day collapse would have led to an Australian victory. Cue no Ashes, no parades in Trafalgar Square and no MBEs.
4. His period as England captain gave cricket writers and bloggers the world over tons of material to write about.
5. Without KP, Peter Moores would still be England coach. Cue no Ashes in 2009.
6. The manner in which he led the England team back to India after the Mumbai terrorist attacks was ambassadorial and statesman like. Cricket proved to be the winner.
7. If KP hadn't married Jessica Taylor, Liberty X would still probably be making records. Our ears are all the better for the fact that they aren't.
8. He actually comes across as a fairly humble bloke in interviews.