Would have picked Buttler as stand-in captain over Stokes, says KP
London: Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen feels wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler would have been a better choice to cover for regular Test skipper Joe Root in the first Test against West Indies in Southampton starting Wednesday.
Ben Stokes was named as England’s stand-in captain after Root left the bio-secure bubble and returned to Sheffield for the birth of his second child. Root is expected to return for the final two matches of the series which are currently scheduled to be played at the Old Trafford.
While many former cricketers agreed with the move, Pietersen thinks otherwise.
“I wouldn’t have picked Ben Stokes to stand in for Joe Root as captain, I would have picked Jos Buttler,” Pietersen was quoted as saying by betwayinsider (https://blog.betway.com/cricket/kevin-pietersen-betway-blog-england-v-west-indies-first-test/)
“Stokes is the type of player that I was discussing earlier — he loves the crowd, and he’s a proven performer in testing conditions with a lot of energy around him.
“These will be testing conditions, but there will be no energy at all. That’s something that the players will have to generate for themselves.
“He’s also the best player in the team. Is the best player always the best choice as captain? I’m not so sure,” he added.
Pietersen also said it will become difficult for players with every passing day to live in the bio-secure environment put forward by the officials for their safety.
He argued that the prospect of just playing cricket and returning back to the hotel over a long period of time might take a toll on the players.
“I’m actually very glad I’m not a player this summer — I don’t think I would have been able to deal with it,” Pietersen said.
“Players usually have their families, their agents and their sponsors. They can get out and play golf. There is always something going on.
“It’s so important to be able to get away from the game because of the stresses and strains that it places on your mind and body.
The novelty of this situation might exist for the first Test match or two, but being stuck with each other in a hotel is going to be quite testing by the end of the month. I wouldn’t have been able to get my head around it,” he added.
(Inputs from IANS)