Expressing complete faith in his captain Andrew Strauss, former England captain Kevin Pietersen said that he never doubted Strauss’ skills and that he loved witnessing Strauss’ century from up close. Strauss’ 122 in England’s first innings of the first test was instrumental in their side getting a decent and crucial lead against the West Indies. According to the ECB website, Pietersen said, “Strauss is a fantastic guy and I was more happy for him scoring that hundred than I have been for any other team-mate when they have scored a hundred. I loved the fact that he did that.”
Pietersen has had his share of lean phases. He went without a test century from March 2009 to December 2010. He admitted to knowing the fact that lean phases are a part and parcel of international cricket and well understanding the pressure one goes through (especially if you are captain of a side). Pietersen said, “I have been through a period where I didn’t score a hundred for a while and since then I have scored many. This sort of thing just happens. Someone is going to get criticised. That’s just what happens in our job.”
While nobody was suggesting that Strauss be taken off captaincy, there have been reports and posts about how a captain must lead from the front. Strauss has managed to silence his critics for now, but he will have to keep at it. Even though Strauss succeeded Pietersen after KP ran into rough weather with his own form and went to town expressing his displeasure over the coach Peter Moores’ role, he did not disguise his fondness for Strauss.
Pietersen further said about his captain, “He is a great bloke who had scored 19 Test hundreds and has captained England to home and away Ashes series. It was brilliant for English cricket that he got a hundred.”
Pietersen wants Gayle to return..
It seems like everybody wants Chris Gayle back in the West Indies, playing at the highest level. Everybody but the WICB i.e. It’s Only Cricket had earlier wondered if the WICB would summon Gayle to aide their team in England. Now, remarkably, even Kevin Pietersen feels that bringing Gayle back to the side would be brilliant for the West Indies and for the game. Gayle, who has become a superstar thanks to his T20 exploits is now free of his IPL commitments and had already made his desire to play for West Indies very clear. According to CMC England, Pietersen said the crowds want entertaining cricket.
He said, “They don't want to watch people blocking the ball. They want to watch entertainers. He is one of those people that people will pay their money to watch him play and if he comes back that could be brilliant for the series.”
The West Indies batting is currently suffering and the English bowling attack ran through their side twice in the first test. Only Chanderpaul has shown resilience and Samuels showed a bit of flair in the second innings. Despite not having played test cricket since 2010, Gayle is an experienced batsman with 91 tests to back him. The big hitter might just give the Windies the facelift they need.