Cow Corner

Pietersen – the right man??

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Kevin Pietersen has been appointed as England's cricket captain. Here's what the experts are saying, have your say below.

Mike Atherton, The Times: "It will be an enormous gamble. Not only does Pietersen have next to no experience of captaincy, he is England's best player, and along with Flintoff their greatest match-winner. In the past, flamboyant characters such as Botham and Flintoff, have found their competitive edge and brilliance dulled rather than sharpened by the extra responsibility. It may be the making of him; if not it will be the breaking of Hugh Morris, the man ultimately responsible for the England team."

Angus Fraser, The Independent: "The 28-year-old is the most high-profile and quotable member of the team and he has a good cricket brain. He is extremely ambitious and will enjoy the even higher profile it gives him. But there are several players in the England dressing room who tolerate rather than warm to him. Pietersen has the energy and personality to do the job, and he could prove an inspired selection. It could, however, go the other way. There is also the matter of his Englishness. At a time when the nationality of an individual has never been so blurred it may seem frivolous to talk about such a subject, but it is relevant. Pietersen may wear a three lions and crown tattoo on his biceps but in an interview earlier this year he spoke of English people as "you".

Mike Selvey, The Guardian: "Pietersen will be perceived perhaps as a dilettante, who would bring a brashness to the position. But that would be to misunderstand what he is about. His lifestyle is carefully cultivated to Hello-esque levels for certain, and he enjoys the trappings of celebrity, fast cars, riverside pad and so forth. Cricket, though, is a deadly serious matter, his preparation, from practice through to perusal of computer analysis and replays prior to batting, is legendary. His cooking, as far as batting is concerned, may be instinctive but his mise en place is meticulous. He will be full of ideas and enthusiasms, as new brooms always are. Peter Moores, the coach who must form a new relationship now, will need earmuffs."

Ian Botham, Daily Mirror: "KP would relish the chance to be England captain and as good a player as he already is now, the extra responsibility might just send him on to a higher plane. He is an exciting cricketer who has a decent cricket brain to go with his talents with the bat, and although he will be different to Michael there is every chance that he could be a success."

Nasser Hussain, Daily Mail:  "There are times when Pietersen plays like an individual, as when he got out on 94 at Edgbaston. Then compare that with the way Graeme Smith played a captain's innings to win the game for South Africa. If Pietersen is in charge it may give him that extra degree of responsibility."

Graham Gooch, BBC Radio Five Live: "England need someone they can respect and who can take them forward over a period of time. There are precedents for the best player being the captain - Allan Border did it for Australia and Viv Richards. They were both successful, so why not? The most important thing about being a leader is having the respect of the players because then they follow you and play for you." 

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