Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen believes Ben Stokes “has the personality” to captain the Test side, but added that the 30-year-old all-rounder will need a leadership group which can complement him as he aim to bring back the side’s glory days back.
Stokes was made England captain after Joe Root stepped down in the wake of the away Test series loss in the Caribbean, while England chief coach Chris Silverwood quit his post following the 0-4 Ashes debacle Down Under.
Pietersen said that while England had got the “right personnel in charge”, the entire cricket structure needs a “shake-up” to bring the team out of the “doom-and-gloom” scenario.
“Being appointed as England Test captain is an incredible honour. Ben Stokes and his family will be incredibly proud and rightly so. I’m a firm believer that the England team needs a leadership group with some gravitas and personality,” said Pietersen.
England have recently appointed Rob Key as the new managing director of the England men’s team and the former cricketer felt he enjoyed that bit of news.
“I enjoyed hearing Rob Key talking about getting the best coaching system in place to change the mentality of the team. It’s been so doom and gloom, the cricket’s been poor and the results have been rubbish. The whole thing needs a shake-up. They’ve got to get the right personnel in charge, above the team, to make sure that the environment is right.
“Key is a good start, Stokes has the personality to captain the side, and personally I would love to see (South Africa’s) Graham Ford come in as Test coach to complete the brain trust. He is an incredible man manager and he’ll work with every player all day long. He’ll give you throwdowns until dark and you can ring him at 2 am with any issue. He’s a fabulous leader who understands the game of cricket like no other.
“Ultimately, though, Stokes and the new coach will be hamstrung until a radical overhaul of the system improves the quality of players coming through. It will be difficult until then, but I wish Stokes the best of luck,” added Pietersen.