KEVIN PIETERSEN claims he would NOT have picked Ben Stokes to deputise for Joe Root as England cricket captain.
The former star batsman believes wicket-keeper Jos Buttler would have been a better choice to fill in for the first match of the Test series against West Indies tomorrow.
Expectant dad Root will miss the first game of the three-match series, with the 29-year-old leaving England’s biosecure bubble to be at the birth of his second child.
Vice-captain Stokes will take the reins with international cricket set to resume in England for the first time since play was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Stokes loves the crowd, and he's a proven performer in testing conditions with a lot of energy around him.
“These will be testing conditions, but there will be no energy at all. That's something that the players will have to generate for themselves.
“He's also the best player in the team. Is the best player always the best choice as captain? I'm not so sure.
“I can speak from personal experience. As soon as you are named captain, your responsibilities change and the dynamic completely changes.
“It's no longer about Stokes being a superstar batsmen or taking vital wickets, it's about how he manages people.”
Pietersen flopped during a five-month spell as England skipper after being appointed in 2008 and fears Stokes could also run into trouble.
He added: “He could face a little bit of animosity from certain sections of the dressing room if he asks people to do something they don't want to, or makes a couple of unpopular decisions.
“He will have to do a lot more press and will face a lot more scrutiny. That's not necessarily fair on somebody who already does so much for the team.
“I'm not saying that he's going to a bad job, it's just going to be interesting.
“I will add, if you are offered the captaincy, then there is no way you can turn it down. It's a great position to be in and I wish him all the best.”
Stokes was reinstated as vice-captain over Buttler before last summer’s Ashes series after he pleaded with ECB CEO Tom Harrison to be given back the role.
Buttler had taken over from Stokes as Root’s No2 when the New Zealand-born star was sacked after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017.
Coach Chris Silverwood said he will do a “great job” because he is a “talisman who leads from the front”.
Bowler Stuart Broad hailed his colleague’s credentials and said: “I've no doubt he will be brilliant at captaining England.
“Stokesy just has a really good cricket brain. He's someone who's matured incredibly over the last three or four years.”
With the backdrop of Covid-19 , England’s players will be confined to their team hotel and unable to visit family or friends.
“I'm actually very glad I’m not a player this summer – I don’t think I would have been able to deal with it,” Pietersen explained.
“Players usually have their families, their agents and their sponsors. They can get out and play golf. There is always something going on.
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“Being stuck with each other is going to be testing for the players. I wouldn’t have been able to get my head around it.
“It's so important to be able to get away from the game because of the stresses and strains that it places on your mind and body.
“The novelty of this situation might exist for the first Test match or two, but being stuck with each other in a hotel is going to be quite testing by the end of the month.”
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Ben Stokes should NOT be England stand-in captain and Jos Buttler would be better alternative, claims Kevin Pietersen have 936 words, post on www.thesun.co.uk at July 7, 2020. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.