Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has shared a solitary change to England’s line-up for the second Ashes Test, which starts at Lord’s on Wednesday, June 28. Pietersen, however, wants England to add specialist wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes to replace Ben Duckett in the playing XI as well. He said this after Jonny Bairstow struggled behind the stumps on his Test return and he wants Bairstow to play as a pure batter at the top of the order.
In his Betway blog, the legendary England batter wrote: “I don’t think the England team is going to change, that’s not what McCullum and Stokes do, but I would get Foakes in if they’re going to play on flat wickets. I would get him in as quickly as possible. Bairstow has to bat, of course, but I’d drop Duckett and have Bairstow at the top of the order, or just move everybody up one spot and play Foakes as the keeper. That’s what I would do.”
He again said: “England are a better team with Moeen Ali, and were a better team in the first Test with him bowling properly, but you can’t help an injury. If Moeen isn’t fit, I probably would’ve picked Liam Dawson, but these guys are risk-takers, so they’re going to an 18-year-old. The safer bet would have been a left-arm spinner who bowls the same as Leach, but they have taken the risky route.”
However, Kevin Pietersen again stated: “The pressure’s on England. What England have done, unfortunately, is put unnecessary pressure on themselves by declaring too early in the first Test. That is craziness because of the pressure that they’re now under going into the second match. They just have to win this Test.”
Meanwhile, Steve Smith managed scores of 16 and 6, and Labuschagne scored 0 and 13 in the first Ashes Test. The duo will now try for redemption in the second Test as well.
“Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne didn’t get any runs in the first Test because Stuart Broad was too good for them. People are saying Smith and Labuschagne aren’t going to miss out at Lord’s. They might not, but I also know when you come in as a big player and you miss out in the first Test match, you’re under tremendous pressure to perform in the second,” he concluded.