Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has branded captain Alastair Cook as “selfish” after he played down the national team’s chances of winning the 2015 World Cup.
Cook admitted that England’s chances of winning the tournament were “far-fetched” after his side were beaten 3-1 by India in the recently concluded ODI series.
“I think it is selfish that the captain is not talking positively about winning the World Cup,” Pietersen wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph. “In Alastair Cook’s own words it is ‘far fetched’ to believe we can win the tournament. I just do not buy that. It is also nonsense to think we do not have time to make changes that could transform England’s chances.”
Pietersen also noted that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will not remove Cook as ODI captain since they have invested too much time into proving that he is the right man for the job.
“There is a theory the England and Wales Cricket Board are reluctant to remove Cook as captain of the one-day team because it might destabilise the camp ahead of next year’s Ashes,” he wrote. “That is hard to swallow for those of us who endured back-to-back Ashes campaigns just so this winter could be dedicated to one-day cricket in the lead-up to the World Cup.
“This is not a witch-hunt against Cook. But he would gain a lot of respect if he admitted he is not the right man to open the batting and captain the one-day team, and decided he was going to concentrate all his efforts on winning back the Ashes.”
Pietersen added that many of the England players will benefit from playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since they can learn numerous things that will help them perform better in limited overs cricket.
“Looking into the future, until we let our young players appear in the IPL we can forget about the shorter form of the game. I have tried for years to get England players playing in the IPL but it has fallen on deaf ears,” Pietersen wrote. “English cricket’s view is that if you play in the IPL you are a mercenary. But in the IPL guys learn to hit sixes.
“They learn that any target is gettable. The bowlers learn variations and different tricks. They learn new tactics from opposition players and guys in their own teams.”