Kevin Pietersen: Malan, Livingstone and Brook must play in the next India Test
The Betway ambassador writes that England must make wholesale changes to their batting line-up to stand a chance of saving the India series.
England should make wholesale changes for Headingley
The performance in the second Test at Lord’s must serve as a huge wake-up call to England and what they are doing for Test match cricket in this country.
You could see in Joe Root’s post-match interview how annoyed he was and I don’t blame him. England are totally reliant on him and a 39-year-old Jimmy Anderson to perform.
Knowing that you’re the only one that can stand up against the opposition must be draining. He needs fighters around him and he doesn’t have any.
I would make wholesale changes for the third Test. They cannot be worse than the line-up that batted like that on day five at Lord’s, which was absolutely atrocious.
I could bowl to that top three at the moment and come under very little pressure, and I’m 41 years of age. None of India’s bowlers are actually worried about any damage that they might do.
Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Harry Brook all need to play in that match at Headingley.
So it’s actually just Jimmy & Joe playing against India at the moment.— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) August 14, 2021
Someone else needs to stand up! And, STAND UP QUICK!
Brook has impressed me massively in The Hundred. My goodness, he can properly play. He’s got a better game than Burns, Sibley and Crawley combined.
Livingstone should come in at five or six, too. He can put the pressure back on the bowlers. If he can face the bowlers that he’s faced in franchise cricket around the world and go well, then there’s no reason why he can’t slightly alter his mindset and adapt to Test cricket.
He’s the hottest ticket in town at the moment after his awesome performances in The Hundred.
Malan, for me, has also proven that he is international class and is an obvious pick to come in and bat at three.
Yes, there is risk, because these guys might nick off while playing aggressive shots, but they can’t do any worse than the current lot.
They have proven that they can cope with top-class bowling.
Believe me, I’ve been there, if you’re a class player then you can adapt your game. Feeling good and knowing that you can cope with the bowling is all you need and then you can adapt.
These guys are class players and if England want to start winning some games then they should pick them.
Virat Kohli is fantastic for Test cricket
Knowing Virat Kohli the way that I do, I know the huge impetus he puts on following in the footsteps of his heroes.
His heroes are Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and other legends of Test match cricket.
You can see by his enthusiasm, intensity, and the way he rallies his troops. Test cricket still means everything to him.
Kohli knows that to be considered a legend of the game, he needs to deliver in this format as well as in T20. That’s why he puts so much importance on this format and at a time when Test cricket needs all the love it can get, how good is it to see a global superstar so passionate about it.
He values his team producing in all conditions, and so to have watched his team win in Australia and then have gone one up in England with a victory at Lord’s will satisfy him hugely.
You can see by his enthusiasm, intensity, and the way he rallies his troops. Test cricket still means everything to him and it’s moments like this that will define his legacy.
It’s very difficult for subcontinental teams to come to England and perform, but they would probably be 2-0 up after two matches if it weren’t for the rain at Trent Bridge.
The way that Mohammed Siraj bowled on day five summed it up – intensity, heart and quality.
It’s amazing for Test cricket that India – who are the number one brand in the game – are so vocal and so passionate about it.
It all bodes well for the format.
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