Don’t point fingers at Joe Root; the setup stinks, says Kevin Pietersen

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Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has lashed out over people pointing fingers at Joe Root’s future as Test captain after the 1-0 series loss to West Indies, saying that the cricketing setup in the country ‘stinks’.

He added that the current state of England’s Test cricket is down to the quality of players in the side.

“As a captain you are only as good as your players. As a CEO of any business you are only as good as your team. My question is who is going to take over and who is going to do a better job with these players that they have got? Forget Joe Root, it is about the players. Who is going to do a better job with the calibre of player that is playing Test cricket for England? It is not Joe Root’s fault. Who are you going to pick?” said Pietersen to TalkSport Radio.

Former players like Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan, Michael Atherton and Steve Harmison have called for Root to be sacked as Test captain as England lost the third Test against West Indies by ten wickets at Grenada on Sunday and lost the series 1-0.

Under Root’s leadership, England have now won just one Test in last 17 matches of the longest format of the game. Overall, under Root’s captaincy, England have played 64 Tests, winning 27 while losing 26 matches.

To prove his point of quality of players in England’s setup, Pietersen gave left-arm spinner Jack Leach and off-spinner Dom Bess as examples. “When Jack Leach and Ben Stokes put that partnership together at Headingley (in the Ashes) three years ago, Stokes played the innings of his life – I said then Leach is not good enough.”

“He can be remembered for his glasses and everything else that’s carried on, well let’s hope he’s not remembered for that because he’s not a good enough spinner. He’s not. And who is second in line, Dom Bess? Are you joking? So you are all pointing fingers at Joe Root at the moment, don’t point fingers at Root, understand the setup. The setup stinks.”

With the name of all-rounder Ben Stokes being circulated as a successor of Root, Pietersen, who played 104 Tests for England disagreed with such suggestions. “How is he (Stokes) going to do any better than Joe Root? He can’t (do any worse) but you can have as many voices as you want, that’s what I am saying, how are you going to change?”

“How are you going to get these guys scoring runs against the best bowlers in the world? Have you see what’s coming (in summer)? New Zealand, India, South Africa. How are you going to get these guys scoring 200s? Number one, two, three, four and five, how are you going to get them scoring 200s when they can’t bat?”

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