Cricket

India vs England: Debate around Virat Kohli's Test captaincy an unavoidable distraction, feels Kevin Pietersen

  • Press Trust of India
  • February 12th, 2021
  • 14:51:03 IST

London: Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen doesn't see any threat to Virat Kohli's captaincy in the foreseeable future but can understand the growing debate over it with India losing four consecutive Tests under his leadership.

Under Kohli's captaincy, India lost two Tests in New Zealand early last year, suffered a humiliating defeat in the series opener against Australia in Adelaide in December before going down to England in the first match in Chennai earlier this week.

"I absolutely don't expect things to change, but it is impossible to avoid the continuing debate around the Indian Test match captaincy," Pietersen wrote in his blog post for 'Betway'.

"Virat Kohli has now lost four consecutive Test matches as skipper, and has Ajinkya Rahane, who just led India to a famous series win in Australia, in his side," he added.

In the absence of Kohli, vice-captain Rahane led an injury-ravaged Indian team to a scintillating 2-1 series win in Australia.

The unlikely win in Australia gave rise to the debate if Kohli should be replaced by Rahane as India's Test captain.

However, the former England skipper threw his weight behind Kohli, saying he is perfectly capable to lead his side to victory.

"On social media, every radio station, every television channel, and every news channel, there are very deep discussions around what should happen. Captaining your country is very difficult and unfortunately, this is the nature of the beast.

"It's one more distraction that Kohli doesn't need but he is, of course, capable of leading his side to a victory in the second Test to quieten things down a bit," Pietersen said.

The 40-year-old also feels the pressure will be on veteran English pacer Stuart Broad to perform in the second Test after James Anderson bowled a match-winning spell in the series opener.

"Whereas Anderson has now conquered each country he has played in, the one thing that Stuart Broad hasn't done is perform in India. His record 10 wickets in six matches at an average of nearly 54 isn't spectacular at all.

"Anderson and Broad are hailed as an incredible partnership, and of course they have been, but this is the difference between the two," Pietersen said.

Broad, who was rested for the first Test as part of England's rotation policy, is set to play the second game and Pietersen feels this series may be the last chance for the pacer to create a legacy in India.

"If Broad wants to be globally recognised as a bowler that delivers in all conditions, he's actually under quite a lot of pressure to perform in the second Test.

"Not only does replacing an in-form Anderson in the team bring its own demands, but it will also probably be his last chance to nail it in India. He is an experienced and wonderful bowler, though, so he has every chance."

Updated Date: February 12, 2021 14:51:03 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

India vs England: Motera pitch, English spin test in focus again as hosts look to seal WTC final berth
First Cricket News

India vs England: Motera pitch, English spin test in focus again as hosts look to seal WTC final berth

Will India spin their way to the WTC final? Or will England turnaround their fortunes against spin? Well, It seems a gargantuan task for England to stop this ruthless Indian side but if they manage to draw the series, it will still be a fantastic achievement.

India vs England: 'Too much noise' about spin-friendly tracks, need is to have balanced conversation around it, says Virat Kohli
First Cricket News

India vs England: 'Too much noise' about spin-friendly tracks, need is to have balanced conversation around it, says Virat Kohli

Kohli, at the end of the third Test, had blamed the batsmen's technique for their failure on the Motera track.

Matthew Hayden says India's ability to win against odds in all conditions is a mark of a great team
First Cricket News

Matthew Hayden says India's ability to win against odds in all conditions is a mark of a great team

Matthew Hayden also had a piece of advice for England batters, who have struggled against the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.