Ever since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have taken the reins at the helm of the England men’s cricket team as captain and coach respectively, the Three Lions have adopted an aggressive approach in red-ball cricket. While it did bring some outstanding results recently as England thrashed New Zealand 3-0 at home, it hasn’t quite worked out in the rescheduled fifth Test match against India.
While many cricket pundits lauded Ben Stokes for taking an aggressive approach in red-ball cricket, former England captain Kevin Pietersen has slammed the newly appointed skipper for playing reckless cricket and putting a bad example for youngsters. Pietersen came heavily on the English Test skipper for his irresponsible batting on Day 3 against India in the ongoing rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
After smashing Indian bowlers for a couple of boundaries, Stokes was dismissed off Shardul Thakur after adding just 36 runs off 57 balls. The English skipper also survived due to a couple of poor fielding attempts by Indian players as Shardul Thakur dropped an easy catch followed by Jasprit Bumrah dropping a sitter at mid-off.
However, Bumrah caught him in the same area on the very next delivery by Thakur as Stokes walked off scoring a 36-ball 25. Commenting on Stokes’ aggressive batting and hurry to dominate India’s pace attack, Kevin Pietersen slammed the English skipper for not realising the need of the hour and kept playing here and there.
Kevin Pietersen, who was commentating on Sky Sports at the time seems upset with Pietersen’s batting style as he said, “Skipper didn’t value his own wicket. This is not the way to protect your wicket. To put your side in a commanding position in Test cricket, you need to show some discipline, respect to opponents and put a price on your wicket.”
Adding further, Kevin Pietersen suggested the England skipper not try to prove a point by being ultra-aggressive, but instead play mature cricket. “Ben Stokes has an aura around himself. Everyone knows him for his aggressive batting style, but he needs to understand the need of the hour as a skipper,” concluded Pietersen.