Debate around captaincy a distraction Kohli doesn’t need: Pietersen

Debate around whether India should stick with Virat Kohli as Test captain will continue because the team has lost its last four Tests and due to the presence of Ajinkya Rahane, says former England captain Kevin Pietersen.

“I absolutely don’t expect things to change, but it is impossible to avoid the continuing debate around the Indian Test match captaincy. Virat Kohli has now lost four consecutive Test matches as skipper, and has Ajinkya Rahane, who just led India to a famous series win in Australia, in his side,” Pietersen wrote in his blog for Betway.

Under Kohli, India lost two Tests in New Zealand early last year, the first Test against Australia in Adelaide in December and their first Test against England in Chennai this week.

On the other hand, Rahane led the team to a remarkable 2-1 win in Australia after their heavy defeat in Adelaide. He is yet to lose a Test match as India captain.

“On social media, every radio station, every television channel and every news channel, there are very deep discussions around what should happen. Captaining your country is very difficult and unfortunately this is the nature of the beast,” said Pietersen.

“It’s one more distraction that Kohli doesn’t need but he is, of course, capable of leading his side to a victory in the second Test to quieten things down a bit,” he further said.

Pietersen also feels England fast bowler Stuart Broad is under pressure to deliver in this series. Broad was benched in favour of speedsters James Anderson and Jofra Archer. With Archer ruled out due to an injury, Broad could be selected for the second Test that starts on Saturday in Chennai.

“Whereas Anderson has now conquered each country he has played in, the one thing that Stuart Broad hasn’t done is perform in India. His record — 10 wickets in six matches at an average of nearly 54 — isn’t spectacular at all,” Pietesen said.

“Anderson and Broad are hailed as an incredible partnership, and of course they have been, but this is the difference between the two. If Broad wants to be globally recognised as a bowler that delivers in all conditions, he’s actually under quite a lot of pressure to perform in the second Test,” the former batsman said.