Ever wondered why the English fail so often at the highest level? It’s because fans and the media cannot see the upside to any change whatever. The latest one is the appointment of Kevin Pietersen as captain of all Englands cricket sides – test, one day, 20/20.
Sure it’s a risk. Every captaincy appointment is a risk. But surely it’s one worth taking. What grates with me is that so few pundits and fans are applauding the decision and getting behind him. I mean, he must have been delighted to wake the next morning to see and hear the whining worriers bothered about everything from his ego to his experience.
Yes, yes, he is inexperienced but he has players with huge experience all round him. Sorted.
Team play? Well perhaps he hasn’t always done the best thing for the team while at the crease but now he will have to. Or be sacked. Sorted.
Batting to go into decline? Look. It may have happened to Botham and Vaughan but why does that mean KP will inevitably suffer? It doesn’t. At all. If there is one thing of which we can be certain, it is that his confidence in his ability as a batsman will not suffer one iota. He has proved his ability to play the great innings when under the most enormous pressure as well as the ability to forget everything, including the match situation (!!) and do something daft. It sounds odd but even this latter point suggests he can put his cares aside when he bats.
Why are we so incapable of supporting decisions and getting behind our best talents? Sniping away before he’s even taken the field as skipper is ridiculous.
So, whingers. Keep your Botham and Vaughan fears. I’ll stick to my examples of why he will succeed. R Ponting (who became no 1 batsman while skipper of the Aussies). And G Smith. I note he got 150 not out in the innings that beat England last week to precipitate all this. Lack of confidence? Don’t think so.