It’s time to have a word, skipper. If Andrew Strauss hasn’t had a strong chat with Kevin Pietersen already, he urgently needs to do so. Pietersen is currently doing more damage to the England cricket team than good, which is remarkable considering his batting talent.
Pietersen has previous loose-tongued dealings with the press. Some commend him for straight-talking, but he is really inflammatory and unprofessional. He does not think about others before he speaks – did it cross his mind that team-mates and supporters would feel let down by his recent comments?
His unnecessary and hypocritical attack on Shivnarine Chanderpaul was poorly judged and another example of why Pietersen is not, and never has been, the right man to lead England. He exhibits few of the characteristics necessary for good leadership.
Pietersen’s selfishness is hurting England. He is constantly complaining of the hurt the ECB caused him, with no apparent regard for the damage he himself has done to the team; he seems to think a strong conviction condones subsequent action, when actually nothing excuses the back-stabbing of the team’s coach and the development of a dangerous persecution complex.
His successor as captain must feel Pietersen’s jealousy. He bleats about Strauss having everything he wants as captain – really Kevin? The split dressing room, the temporary coach, the sulking star player. Exactly what a new skipper requires – and shows no desire to move on for the sake of the team.
The replacement of Pietersen with Strauss was seen by some as the installation of a ‘yes man’, a unifying presence unable to take on authority. The opposite is true – Strauss is the stronger character, able to drop established players but still improve dressing room harmony.
Pietersen is the frailer character whose famous drive and ambition goes only as far as his own career. The right man is in charge, but he has one remaining task to perform before he makes the position his own, and that is to put his troublesome predecessor in his place.