Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Who else but KP?

Virtually every cricket expert writing on the internet is of the opinion that the appointment of Kevin Pietersen as captain of the England cricket team can either turn out to be a remarkable success or a disastrous failure. It is of course trite to say that Pieterson was the sole candidate in contention for the team's captain’s post, but the fact remains that only Flintoff and him are assured of a place in both the one day and the test set up. Therefore, once the selectors had decided upon appointing a common captain for both the ODI and test units, bearing in mind Flintoff’s injury woes and his previously dire captaincy experience, the choice for the post came down to just one man, Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen has admittedly not captained at any level of the game and is vastly inexperienced for the job, but captains are almost always new to their posts and one can only hope that they learn on the job and help inspire their team to success. I am sure he will bring his dare devilish approach to batting to his captaincy and for all one knows, England might stand to benefit hugely from such a technique. Having said that, the responsibility could adversely affect his batting and England certainly wouldn’t want its best batsman burdened by captaincy. Only time will tell, whether Pietersen can bring a 'switch-hit' to his captaincy, but how well he takes to the role will be crucial to England’s performances.

Previously, I had expressed my views on the excellent balance of the English team and their preparedness for the Ashes next summer. However, with all the recent happenings and the dismal losses to the Proteas, I am forced to take a backward step or two on my stance. Much of my optimism on a great Ashes contest was based on Michael Vaughan’s presence at the helm of the English team. Vaughan is undeniably one of England’s greatest ever captains. But, whilst his resignation comes as massive surprise, it was probably the right thing to do considering his own batting form and the performance of the team against South Africa. Vaughan has also decided to take a break from cricket and relax for a while before he returns to play for Yorkshire in the County Championships. For all his recent batting misery, Vaughan remains one of England’s top batsmen and it would serve England very well if he can return to his graceful best and regain a place in the top order. The manner in which the Ashes pans out is in my opinion almost entirely dependant on how Pietersen adapts to his role as captain and the impact that the role has on his batting. With the return of Hoggard and possibly even Simon Jones, the English bowling attack will surely have a much more solid look to it, come the Ashes. But, irrespective of the team composition, Pietersen holds the key. If he can lead from the front and act as an inspirational force, England will make more than worthy opponents for the Aussies.

1 comment:

Rahul said...

I'm pretty skeptical about KP's chances but you're right there was really not much choice.