England’s embarrassing Ashes defeat in Ashes by 4-0 has highlighted the voids which were once submerged down under and the debate over the resurgence of England’s Test cricket has once again started. This was the second such instance in recent times when Australia demolished their arch-rivals by 4-0, and Joe Root being the leader of the team on both instances is facing a lot of flak for his second failure with such a huge margin in the Ashes.
Skipper is not just being criticized for his failed captaincy skills but also for failing as a batsman. Joe Root’s stature as Test cricket demands a few centuries in such a high stake tournament, but Root could only manage to score a couple of half-centuries. Amidst all the scrutiny, Root has expressed his desire to lead the team and claimed that he is ready to sacrifice anything for the revival of England’s Test cricket, even IPL.
However, Joe Root has got some backing from the former England batting legend Kevin Pietersen. In a column written for betway, Kevin Pietersen has highlighted the fact that Root was the only qualified Test batsman in the team and visitors lacked the preparation and quality in the squad. According to Pietersen, the kind of players Joe Root had in the squad, “it was a hopeless task”. Notably, Jonny Bairstow was the only batter in the England side who could hit a century in the 1st innings of the fourth Test, resulting in a draw.
Emphasizing the improvements, Pietersen highlighted that franchise cricket in the country can be vital in order to produce quality players who can play red-ball cricket at crucial stages. “Franchise competition would be a fantastic opportunity to improve the standard of red-ball cricket, make domestic cricket interesting to the masses again (like they did with The Hundred), and I’m sure commercially, in terms of sponsorships and broadcast rights, it would be good news, too,” added Kevin.
Pietersen also highlighted the fact that paying public is angry with recent results, and it’s high time that ECB must make positive changes to bring some improvement. “Perhaps a renewed effort to promote the longest format of the game by one of the most powerful boards in the world could change the direction things are heading in,” suggested Pietersen.