Gough believes it will be England’s loss if they go to India without Pietersen
With the ongoing debate about whether leaving Kevin Pietersen out of the England squad for the upcoming tour of India was a right one or not, former England pace bowler Darren Gough has also voiced his opinion, saying that the national team selectors are making a big mistake by leaving Pietersen out.
Some cricket pundits believe Pietersen should be included due to his excellent knowledge of the Indian conditions since he plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL) every year, while others think it was a good decision for him to be left behind after he was found guilty of sending derogatory text messages about former Test captain Andrew Strauss to South African players during the recent Test series.
Speaking about the ongoing Pietersen saga, Gough said: “There has been some immaturity on both sides. There are issues with the parody Twitter account – I think it’s obvious that players were involved in that – and there are issues with things that were written in players’ books about Kevin that were just not right. But at the same time, some of Kevin’s words have not been acceptable. Everyone knows that.”
Gough believes that cricketers don’t have to be friends off the field, but when on the pitch, they must learn to put their differences aside and work together.
“But haven’t we all called the boss a few names at some stage? It happens. You don’t have to be the best of friends on the pitch; you just have to be prepared to work together,” Gough said.
Gough explained how he and former captain Nasser Hussain had their share of problems, but added that on the field it was playing for your country that came first.
“Nasser Hussain and I used to argue like cat and dog when he was England captain. But neither of us ever held a grudge. He got the best out of me. I’d have run through a brick wall for him. What do you do? You look each other in the eye, shake hands and get on with it. And that’s what I expect to happen,” Gough added.
Speaking about newly appointed Test captain Alastair Cook, Gough stated that he should be excited about touring India, while also thinking about taking the strongest possible team.
“Alastair Cook has come in. He’s an ambitious new captain and he wants to win. And so he should. So he’s come in determined to take the best side he can to India. He knows – we all know – that Kevin is in the best team. I’m very hopeful he’ll be in the team now and I definitely think he should be,” Gough said.