Kevin Pietersen has called the raging debate around Virat Kohli's leadership a 'distraction'. The former England batsman believes Kohli is good enough to lead Team India to victory in the second Test.
Virat Kohli had a horrendous comeback game in Chennai. India lost to England by a huge margin of 227 runs and are now on the brink of losing their spot in the World Test Championship final. This was also the hosts' fourth straight Test defeat under Kohli. Calls to handover the Test captaincy to Ajinkya Rahane grew louder even though Mumbaikar fluffed with the bat.
Writing for Betway, Kevin Pietersen said the debate around the captaincy is "impossible to avoid," given Kohli and Rahane's contrasting recent records as skippers.
"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. 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. 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," said Kevin Pietersen.
Virat Kohli was Team India's lone warrior in the second innings, with the skipper making a valiant 72 off 104 balls.
Stuart Broad is under a lot of pressure: Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen also spoke about the experienced bowling pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. While Anderson proved his adaptability yet again through a reverse-swing masterclass in Chennai, Broad is largely untested in India.
Pietersen said Broad, who didn't play in the first Test, would be under immense pressure to prove his mettle in the second Test.
"Whereas Anderson has now conquered each country he has played in, the one thing that Stuart Broad hasn't done is performed in India. His record -- 10 wickets in six matches at an average of nearly 54 -- isn't spectacular at all. 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 recognized as a bowler that delivers in all conditions, he's actually under quite a lot of pressure to perform in the second Test," said Kevin Pietersen.
The second Test will commence on Saturday, February 15.