KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are both good choices for Indian Test team captain, according to former player and commentator Kevin Pietersen.
“Both the players are equally good for the role. I believe both of them can do justice to the captaincy if given the chance,” the former England batsman told reporters at the Amerat Stadium in Oman capital Muscat. “Rohit has done a brilliant job as Mumbai Indians captain as well.”
Pietersen is part of the World Giants team, one of the three teams in the Legends Cricket League being played at the Amerat Stadium.
On a query, Pietersen said Rishab Pant is not a great option at present.
“Pant is an exciting player. But for captaincy, they youngster is not the right choice now according to me. He can definitely take up the role later. I believe he is a future captain,” the player-turned-commentator said.
KP also praised Indian coach Rahul Dravid for his contribution to the junior Indian sides.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Dravid’s performance with the senior Indian team. He had done a great job with the junior sides.”
‘HARSH TO CRITICISE KOHLI’
Pietersen also strongly supported Virat Kohli, who recently stepped down as the Indian Test captain.
“Virat is a strong player, mentally and technically. It is harsh to criticize the current players especially due to the pandemic conditions they are through. It is really hard to go through ‘bubbles’ and then to perform on the ground,” he said.
A hard-hitting batsman earlier, Pietersen said he was not surprised by the decision of Kohli to step down from the captaincy.
“Under the circumstances, I can understand Kohli’s decision. His characteristics and personality are not suitable for the present day scenario which puts you under enormous pressure.”
“Virat needs the crowd to get his game going. He is an entertainer and the crowd support provides him the energy. So, it is hard for top players like him to miss the fans' support during the matches.”
“Top players in not only cricket but football, rugby, golf etc had suffered due to the conditions having to perform without the crowd and it had affected their game according to my opinion,” Peterson said.
In another query, KP said it is unfair to complain about the Indian Premier League for the decline of England’s Test cricket performance.
“There are very few players who play IPL from the England Test squad. Maybe Ben Stokes, Johny Bairstow and James Butler. So it is crazy to blame the IPL for the slump in English Test performance.”
It is the County cricket system which I feel is poor and needs change to develop more top-class Test players,” he said.
FIRST TIME IN OMAN
Pietersen said this is his first visit to the Sultanate of Oman.
“Like many other players in my team and other teams, this is my first visit to Oman. It is a great country and will do wonders if they host more high-profile events like this.”
Being part of the Legends League is really exciting, he said.
“It is great to run shoulders with many of the top players in the past. We are under no pressure but to perform our best on the ground. The LLC will come up stronger in the coming editions with players more aware of the tournament and we can expect some more standard and professionalism,” KP concluded.