While the entire cricketing world is busy with the ongoing Indian Premier League, veteran all-rounder Ben Stokes’ appointment as England Test captain made headlines too. Notably, veteran batter Joe Root stepped down from the position after facing a lot of backlash following England’s rather forgettable Test series.
While many believe the move was right considering a better future for England in the longer format, former player Kevin Pietersen echoed the same as well. And, he believes that it is certainly a tremendous honor to be named as England Test captain. Ben Stokes and his family will be happy and he is confident that the England squad will benefit from a strong leadership group as well.
He said, “Being appointed as England Test captain is an incredible honour. Ben Stokes and his family will be incredibly proud and rightly so. I’m a firm believer that the England team needs a leadership group with some gravitas and personality. I enjoyed hearing Rob Key talking about getting the best coaching system in place to change the mentality of the team. It’s been so doom and gloom, the cricket’s been poor and the results have been rubbish. The whole thing needs a shake-up.”
He continued, “They’ve got to get the right personnel in charge, above the team, to make sure that the environment is right. Key is a good start, Stokes has the personality to captain the side, and personally I would love to see Graham Ford come in as Test coach to complete the brain trust. He is an incredible man manager and he’ll work with every player all day long. He’ll give you throwdowns until dark and you can ring him at 2am with any issue.”
Meanwhile, the former cricketer turned famous commentator has also shared that Ben Stokes is a great captain who understands the game well too. Although it will be tough in the beginning to sort things out amid this situation, the veteran wished Stokes all the luck for his future responsibility as well.
He also opened up on the ongoing Indian Premier League as well. Two new teams have been added this season, Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans. Both the teams have done exceptionally well and leading the charts of the points table as well as cemented their berths in the playoffs too. And, the veteran said that Gujarat Titans are going to be difficult to beat in the IPL as well as they have been winning matches with ease.
“I didn’t see them being at the top of the table when I first saw their squad, but they are on a roll. It reminds me of Rajasthan Royals when they won the title under Shane Warne in 2008 – they weren’t the best side on paper but everybody knew what they were doing and they had a great mentality. When you’re winning like that, the energy in the dressing room is so positive,” the former cricketer shared.
He again shared that everybody in the squad thinks positive and gives their best on the field as well. He also gave the example of Rashid Khan when he helped his side over his old franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad as well. Moreover, he also added that Rajasthan Royals are doing well, too, but he expects Delhi Capitals to be in the top four.
He also shared his views on Kolkata Knight Riders and wasn’t quite happy the way they had performed in IPL 2022. He was also shocked seeing Mumbai Indians struggling. However, it was tough to believe for him that KKR reached the final last year after having a stunning second season as well. And, the veteran said that along with Mumbai Indians, they are also his disappointments of the competition so far.
He also praised the hard, bouncy wickets that have been used in the tournament so far. He also applauded India spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who has been doing exceptionally well and believes alongside Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal will also be difficult to play.
“We’ve been full of praise for the hard, bouncy wickets on commentary because they allow for lots of runs and entertaining games. But if there is one thing that spinners love it’s bounce, so it’s no surprise that spin is having such a big say in this competition. The top two wicket-takers in the competition are spinners – and it’s particularly nice to see Kuldeep Yadav, such an exciting talent, going well. Orthodox spinners can be easier to line up, but mystery wrist spinners like Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal are so difficult to play,” he concluded.