‘Who could do a better job with those players!?’: Kevin Pietersen DEFENDS under-fire England captain Joe Root despite calls for him to resign after West Indies series defeat, as he blames poor displays on a lack of talent in the squad
- Joe Root is facing calls to resign as England captain after West Indies defeat
- Former team-mate Kevin Pietersen has leapt to Root’s defence on talkSPORT
- Pietersen said it is unfair to ‘point fingers’ at Root and claimed the setup ‘stinks’
- England are on their worst run of Test form since the 1980s after West Indies loss
Kevin Pietersen has leapt to the defence of Joe Root, insisting it is unfair to ‘point fingers’ at his former team-mate because the problems within the Test setup run far deeper than the under-fire England captain.
Root is facing widespread calls to resign following the dismal series defeat by the West Indies after England were thrashed by 10 wickets in the decider in Grenada on Sunday.
A host of ex-players, including Michael Atherton and Steve Harmison, have urged Root to step down in the wake of the embarrassing loss in the Caribbean.
Kevin Pietersen (right) has defended Joe Root amid calls for him to resign as England captain
Root’s side have lost four consecutive series and have won just one of their last 17 Tests – England’s worst run since the 1980s.
Defeat by the West Indies – and the manner in which England capitulated yet again – has heaped more pressure on Root, whose position was also questioned after the abject 4-0 surrender to Australia in the Ashes.
But Pietersen, who played 104 Test matches, has defended the beleaguered captain and questioned who could do a better job with the set of players at Root’s disposal.
‘Who else is going to captain them?’ Pietersen said on talkSPORT.
‘You are only as good as your players. As a coach you are only good as your players and as a captain you are only as good as your players.
Root has vowed to stay on as England captain despite serious questions over his position
‘My question is who is going to take over and who is going to do a better job with the players they’ve got?
‘Forget Joe Root, it’s about the players. Who is going to do a better job with the calibre of players playing Test cricket for England?
‘Don’t point fingers at Joe Root. Understand the setup, the setup stinks.’
Writing in The Times, Atherton said Root’s captaincy is ‘untenable, and he must surely know it deep down’.
‘As was obvious to anyone who was in Australia, and should have been obvious to anyone who wasn’t, Root has reached the end of the road as captain,’ Atherton wrote.
Root, who has led England since 2017, has vowed to continue as England captain, saying he is ‘still very passionate about taking this team forward’.
The West Indies won the series 1-0 after claiming victory by 10 wickets in the decider
Pietersen has hit out at the Test setup and called for significant changes in county cricket
Former England batter Pietersen blames the dominance of global T20 leagues for the decline of the Test side and warned changes were needed in county cricket to improve the fortunes of the team.
‘It’s been happening for years,’ Pietersen added. ‘I talked about it in 2018 and I got cleaned out. Every time I talk about English cricket or County Cricket on social media I get cleaned out.
‘I played my last game of County Cricket and I could see how poor the standard was.
‘I talked about it then and then when I played the Big Bash and said there was so much mediocrity, so much nonsense and so much poor cricket in English cricket that there would be a time when this happens.
‘I saw it as I played in it and I also played in County Cricket in the early 2000s when every single county game was like a Test match.
‘You had the best players in the world playing every week up and down the country.
‘It’s not the fault of county cricket, it’s the invention of the IPL and the T20 tournaments around the world.’