Monday, August 4, 2008

Pietersen confirmed as England captain

Kevin Pietersen has been swiftly appointed as Michael Vaughan's successor as Test captain, while also taking the one-day leadership after Paul Collingwood handed in his notice yesterday following Vaughan's departure. Pietersen, one of the few members guaranteed to be a key player of both teams in the next few years, was the favourite to take on the joint role and his appointment was confirmed by the ECB at Lord's today. He will lead out the side for the fourth Test against South Africa this week and promised to lead on gut instinct but ask for advice, after making a decision he described as "very, very emotional".
Vaughan's resignation on Sunday brought to an end a five-year tenure as the most successful England Test captain with 26 wins. Pietersen takes over with just one ODI as captain under his belt, having led the side against New Zealand at Lord's in June when Collingwood was serving a four-ODI suspension. Andrew Flintoff had taken the reins when Vaughan was injured for England's last Ashes campaign, the ill-fated 5-0 walloping by Australia in 2006-07.
Ravi Bopara has been brought in to take Vaughan's spot as batsman for the fourth Test at The Oval, a dead rubber which begins on Thursday. Vaughan has chosen to take a break from cricket and with South Africa already having sealed the series, it will be a good opportunity for Bopara - who has three Tests to his name - to try to shine.
The selectors also named a 15-man squad for one-day series and Twenty20 against South Africa which includes the uncapped Nottinghamshire batsman Samit Patel and a recall for the Sussex wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Test squad Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Tim Ambrose (wk), Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar.
One-day squad Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Owais Shah, Ian Bell, Samit Patel, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Chris Tremlett, Luke Wright.
Sandesh Kumar Jaggi
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