Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Monday, 4 August 2008

KP ? Captain ? That's Nuts

England have today appointed Kevin Pietersen as captain to replace Michael Vaughan, who resigned yesterday. Oh, blimey.

The first thing to say is that Vaughan did a fantastic job and we wouldn't, I suspect, won the Ashes in 2005 without him. He seems to have been inversally popular with players, Press and fans, and was an innovative and imaginative captain. His form has gone to pot recently and maybe he's never got over his knee injuries. He hopes to come back but people who've been there doubt he will.

And so to Pietersen. Don't get me wrong - I like the guy. He's a precocious talent and has a quite frightening level of ability. He's a born entertainer and has a wonderful relationship with the fans, whom he clearly believes to be important. He's the kind of figure who attracts young supporters to cricket; given a choice between Kevin Pietersen and sliced bread, Womble On Tour Junior II would happily starve. In short, he's wonderful for the game. But is he captain material ? I doubt it.

I fear that the selectors might have made the same mistake as they made with Ian Botham all those years ago. Pietersen still has some growing up to do, and quite honestly anyone who tries, as Pietersen did last Friday, to hit an outrageous six just to get to a hundred when, effectively 130-4, the team needs him to stick around, has got neither the tactical brain nor the sense of self-sacrifice needed by a captain. In addition to which he has no real experience, and no great track record as a leader.

The biggest fear is that the weight of responsibility affects his form, and then we've got two problems, a captain who can't lead and a batsman out of touch. Having listened this evening to Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook (both of whom would have been better candidates, I think), I'm not convinced that his team-mates are right behind the appointment either.

I hope with all my heart that I'm wrong. If we regain the Ashes next summer with Pietersen at the helm I'll happily admit that I was. But somehow, I just don't see it.

1 comment:

Andrew Allison said...

He is completely the wrong choice. He is someone who is very difficult to lead and he is not capable of leading. Although he is a talent, he thinks more about hitting the headlines for himself, rather than the team. That was something Ian Botham was not guilty of