Kevin Pietersen reckons that star all-rounder Ben Stokes must not be burdened with captaincy if regular skipper Joe Root is unavailable for England’s first Test against the West Indies. Pietersen believes the role of skipper might add a little extra pressure on the all-rounder and may or may not effect his performance. England red-ball captain Root is a doubtful starter for the series opener against West Indies, starting July 8 as his wife is due to give birth to their second child. Root has backed vice-captain Stokes to do a good job in his absence. Also Read - ENG vs WI Dream11 Team Hints, West Indies Tour of England 2020: Captain And Vice-Captain, Fantasy Cricket Tips England vs West Indies 1st Test in Southampton at 3:30 PM IST Wednesday July 8
The former England skipper Pietersen instead backed wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler for the top job. As per the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) guidelines Root will be required to undergo seven days of self-isolation before rejoining the national team. Also Read - England vs West Indies 2020, 1st Test Live Streaming Details: When And Where to Watch Online, Latest Cricket Matches, Timings in India
“Do I want to see Ben Stokes change from who he is and the current player he is? Probably not, Jos Buttler would be my guy,” Pietersen told talkSPORT. Also Read - New Rules: How Cricket Will Change When England And West Indies Square Off in Three-Test Series
Pietersen is skeptical about Stokes being loaded with the added responsibility of leading the team.
“The entertainers and the guys that have to carry the mantle in the team sometimes aren’t the best captains and sometimes struggle with the extra added pressure,” Pietersen said.
“As a player you are looked at completely differently until that phone call comes and you are announced as the Test captain. Responsibilities change, communication changes, the way in which you carry yourself in the dressing room changes,” he added.
Recalling his short stint as captain, Pietersen said he hated the job. He said the captaincy changed how players were viewed in the dressing room.
“I struggled with it, I absolutely hated it and I was rubbish. You have to change and I couldn’t command the respect of the dressing room, you say something and it is frowned upon, it is a completely different story,” Pietersen said.
Last week, Root threw his weight behind Stokes for being the interim captain.
“I think if Ben was captain he would be fantastic. One of his great qualities as vice-captain and as a leader is that he sets the example, the way he goes about his training, how he wants to bowl in difficult circumstances, the way he stands up in different scenarios with the bat,” Root had said.