Pietersen and Boycott blast England set-up after West Indies crisis
Published on: Amended:
London (AFP) – Former captain Kevin Pietersen has said England’s setup “stinks”, with Geoffrey Boycott accusing the team of going “nowhere” after their last humiliating defeat.
A resounding 10-wicket defeat in the third and final Test against the West Indies in Grenada on Sunday condemned England to a series defeat on the heels of their 4-0 loss to the Ashes in Australia.
Although England captain Joe Root has now overseen just one win from 17 Tests, he said on Sunday he had no intention of quitting as skipper, team principal Ashley Giles and coach Chris Silverwood having been sacked following the Ashes debacle.
Pietersen, England captain from 2008-09, insisted on Monday that the fundamental problem was the squad capacity available to Root, who led the Test team on a record 64 chances, rather than his much-criticized tactics on the pitch.
“As a captain, you are only as good as your players,” Pietersen told Talk Sport radio.
“Forget Joe Root, it’s about the players. Who is going to do a better job with the caliber of player who plays Test cricket for England? It’s not Joe Root’s fault. Who are you going to pick ?”
Pietersen, 41, added: “When Jack Leach and Ben Stokes set up this partnership at Headingley (in the Ashes) three years ago, Stokes played the rounds of his life – I said Leach n wasn’t good enough.
“He’s not a good enough spinner. And who’s second, Dom Bess? Are you kidding?
“Don’t point fingers at Root, understand the setup. The setup stinks.”
‘I can’t beat’
Ben Stokes, currently England vice-captain and close friend of Root, appears to be the obvious successor as skipper.
But Pietersen, 41, a gifted batsman who scored 23 cents in 104 Tests, insisted a change of captain would mean little if the team continued to suffer top-notch meltdowns.
“How are you (Stokes) going to do better than Joe Root?… How are you going to get these guys to score against the best bowlers in the world?
“See what’s coming? New Zealand, India, South Africa.
“How are you going to get these guys to score 200s? Number one, two, three, four and five, how are you going to get them to score 200s when they can’t beat?”
Boycott, another former captain, said England, now bottom of the World Test Championship table, were “going nowhere”.
“They need a rocket at the back from a new head coach with fresh ideas,” Boycott wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.
“Doing nothing is not an option. Nothing is working,” added Boycott, one of England’s all-time greatest fly-half, who did not spare Root, a fellow Yorkshireman, while which he called for a “reshuffle” of staff.
“The captain, Joe Root, is unable to lift these players,” insisted Boycott.
“England don’t lose because they’re unlucky. They lose because they’re just not good enough.”
© 2022 AFP