'There is no fear of failure': Kevin Pietersen lauds England for backing 24-year-old batter for rescheduled India Test
Pietersen also spoke about England's aggressive performances since the appointment of coach Brendon McCullum. He also credited former captain Eoin Morgan for bringing in a cultural change in English cricket.
Former England batter Kevin Pietersen has backed the selection of Zak Crawley despite a mediocre run in the run-up to the rescheduled Test against India. The long-delayed Test kickstarts just four days after England's 3-0 rout of Test world champions New Zealand. While the English camp dished out a comprehensive performance in all three games, Crawley averaged just 14.5 with highest score of 43 in the series opener at Lord's. (Also Read | England announce playing XI for 5th Test, James Anderson returns)
Pietersen said players won't play naturally if they get dropped after a botched run. The former England captain lauded the move to retain Crawley, explaining how it's linked with backing a player's skill-set.
“There is no fear of failure. It’s purely backing guys’ talent. And you know what I like? That, despite his struggles, Zak Crawley has been selected for the India Test this week. If you’re going to ask players to express themselves, you have to understand that it sometimes won’t work out. If you start dropping them after a bad run, they won’t feel that they can play as naturally again,” wrote Pietersen for Betway.
Pietersen also spoke about England's aggressive performances since the appointment of Brendon McCullum. He also credited former captain Eoin Morgan for bringing in a cultural change in English cricket.
“England’s Test team are taking a leaf out of Eoin Morgan’s book, transforming their playing style to entertain the crowds. That is Morgan’s legacy as captain of the white-ball team for the last seven-and-a-half years creating a culture in English cricket where talent is backed and entertainment is paramount."
“It’s actually a culture shift that Morgan introduced to English cricket in 2015. To see it now bearing fruit in Test cricket is great,” said Pietersen.
Crawley will be present at the top for the rescheduled Test, while veteran James Anderson will replace Jamie Overton in the playing eleven for India Test. Anderson missed the third test against New Zealand with an ankle injury.
Ben Foakes recovering from Covid-19 and Kent's Sam Billings has been retained as the wicketkeeper for the much-awaited Test match. India are leading 2-1 in the series that wasn't completed last year because of Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.
England XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Sam Billings (wicketkeeper), Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson