Rohit Sharma should be named Test captain: Kevin Pietersen

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen believes white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma should be given the reins of the Test team as Virat Kohli’s successor. Speaking on the sidelines of the Legends Cricket League, Pietersen who will play for World Giants said India had options in KL Rahul and Sharma but he would opt for the latter.

“I like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, you are spoilt for choice. Rishabh Pant not yet, may be in one day (cricket) yes. Sharma and Rahul are very fine cricketers. I like Hitman (Rohit Sharma), I love watching his cricket. He has done well for Mumbai Indians and he is next in line.”

The English batsman-turned-commentator felt that playing constantly while being in a bio-bubble was one of the reasons Kohli stepped away from captaincy. “Virat Kohli is a kind of guy, who in current circumstances, it’s very difficult for his personality to perform. I have friends in all sports, some are the best in the world and they all say that it is very difficult to play in the conditions that people have been playing since the last two years. I am actually not surprised that Virat just wants a little break from that extra pressure because it’s damn difficult playing under a bubble.”

Pietersen felt it was ‘unfair’ and ‘harsh’ to criticize Kohli. “Kohli needs crowds. Kohli gets his juices going because he is an entertainer. So people who are critical of modern day sportsmen, I think are foolish because it’s hard to play in a bio-bubble.”

Pietersen added that the bio-bubble and playing behind closed doors has taken the fun element out of the sports for performers.

“It supposed to be the greatest job in the world. But when you put them in the bubble it’s not the greatest job in the world. There is no fun,” he added.

Can’t blame IPL for Ashes loss

The former Delhi Capitals captain in IPL said it’s stupid to blame the T20 league for the England team’s poor showing in Ashes. Former England batsman David Gower had blamed the IPL for the Ashes loss.

“It’s stupid. You can’t blame the IPL for the decline for Test cricket in England. It’s the county cricket system which is poor. If you look at the England team, maybe (Ben) Stokes, (Jonny) Bairstow, (Jos) Buttler (play in IPL), none of the England players play in IPL.”

With news reports of police being called to end a post Ashes party was there a drinking culture problem in the England team? Pietersen didn’t think so.

“I can’t imagine but it must be very lonely, what else do you do? You can’t go out to a coffee shop. You are not allowed to go to restaurants. You are not allowed to do anything. Am sure the guys would have tried to find out some kind of social activity which they felt was deemed fit.” It’s an unusual situation. The last two years have been very difficult for everybody,” he pointed out.

(Devendra Pandey is in Muscat on the invitation of the Legends Cricket League)

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