Kevin Pietersen, the ousted right hander has expressed his thoughts on England Team and Alastair Cook‘s captaincy in his Column in Telegraph saying “Cook was a rabbit in the headlights“.

He felt that Cook did a wrong thing declaring Overnight of Day 5 in first test. He wrote that bowling a couple of overs on Day 4 would have changed the fates of England.

Are you telling me Sri Lanka would really score 380 in a day? I understand England lost wickets early on setting up the run chase, and that slowed them down, but setting out for a target of 320 would have been enough and given the bowlers at least 30 minutes at the end of the fourth day’s play to put the fear of life into the Sri Lankan batters.

Pietersen has also added saying that England should have batted first in second match instead of looking to use moisture to pick early wickets which backfired. He also wrote that the Captain and Coach had forgot that the normal track at Leeds produces spin in the last days.

The only really good time to bat is when there is moisture in the pitch, so bat first. Also, Headingley spins, so why bat last? I took four wickets against South Africa in 2012 at Headingley and Graeme Swann finished with 10 against New Zealand last year, so why on earth bat last on that pitch against Rangana Herath, who is the eighth best bowler in the world according to the rankings?

KP also mentioned why Cook’s captaincy was criticized. He said that instead of trying to get the other batsman out, they could have got out Mathews itself.

Cook was criticised for his tactics and field settings to Angelo Mathews as he built a match-winning score in the second innings. I can understand his reasons. But that tactic should be plan B or C, not plan A, which was the case for England. You attack and try to get the batsman out first. If you dismiss Mathews you win the game. If Mathews reaches 70 or 80 and is making it look easy then push the field back and give runs away to dismiss the weaker batsman.Cook’s form will be affecting him. I have played with Cooky long enough to know that when that happens he becomes very quiet and introverted. He struggles to handle it. We have all been through it and it does play on your mind.

He said Cook was a rabbit in the headlights. He looks like that as he is passing through a bad phase with the bat.

Captaining the side without any runs plays on your mind too. I saw in Cook at Headingley the same look Andrew Strauss had when he played his last Test at Lord’s. He was a rabbit in the headlights. It was a shame to see Cooky looking that way. The one thing he brings to the team is runs, mental strength and ability to churn out huge hundreds.

Pietersen suggested to Cook better to drop himself from Captaincy as the pressures job is effecting his batting, which can lead towards his exclusion from England Team.

He has been a brilliant player for England, but he is the only person who knows deep down whether captaincy is affecting his batting. But you do not want to give away the captaincy because then you become droppable. If you have not scored any runs for 10 Test matches, and give the captaincy up to concentrate on batting but then do not score for the next two Tests, you might be out of a job. Then what do you do?

He concluded saying England has been blessed with some young talents in this series as the selectors must look forward in bringing Butler and Stokes in test team.

He is lucky that the younger players are providing an example for others to follow. It was absolutely fantastic to see Gary Ballance, Sam Robson, Joe Root and Moeen Ali scoring hundreds. Add Ben Stokes and Buttler to the mix and suddenly England will have a team mostly made up of young cricketers without any baggage, taking to Test cricket quickly and being successful.

They would galvanise public support very quickly, but it is up to the selectors to give Buttler and Stokes a chance. Stokes does not need overs in county cricket. He is one of those players who can turn up and turn it on in a Test match.

    Cricket Statistician and Journalist. Love to churn out facts and stats. Member of the Society of Cricket Statisticians of India (SCSI).

    Read More