Kevin Pietersen calls for Ben Stokes to stop giving his wicket away

Kevin Pietersen claims Ben Stokes is ‘too good a player to slog himself out’ after the England captain’s reckless innings against India… and has called for the all-rounder to copy Jonny Bairstow’s method rather than charging down the wicket

  • Ben Stokes was caught for 25 after mistiming a drive against India on Sunday
  • He has now been dismissed in a similar fashion in his last two Test innings
  • Stokes was also dropped twice before he was eventually caught at Edgbaston
  • Kevin Pietersen feels Ben Stokes is giving his wicket away too easily
  • Pietersen wants Stokes to stand still at the crease like Jonny Bairstow  

Kevin Pietersen believes Ben Stokes is too good to keep giving his wicket away after he was caught at mid-off for the second innings on the trot against India on Sunday.

In the third Test against New Zealand, Stokes mistimed a drive off Neil Wagner and was caught by Kane Williamson, and he did the same thing at Edgbaston this time around, with Jasprit Bumrah taking a brilliant catch to dismiss him for 25.

Stokes had already been dropped twice earlier on in his innings, and Pietersen has called for him to re-evaluate his method against seam bowling by taking a leaf out of Jonny Bairstow’s book, who flourished once again in the morning session.

Ben Stokes gave his wicket away with a reckless shot against India on Sunday

Kevin Pietersen feels he is too good to give his wicket away by slogging the ball up in the air

‘I would tell Ben Stokes that he doesn’t need to prove a point by being ultra-aggressive,’ Pietersen told Sky Sports.

‘Ben Stokes has an aura that when he walks out to the wicket, the bowler needs to be bowling his best deliveries in order to get him out. And sometimes their best deliveries, they know, are going to get hit for four, and sometimes get hit for six.

‘What I see at the moment with Ben Stokes is someone who’s the captain, the leader, and he is trying to command some sort of authority by running at bowlers. 

‘Ben Stokes can stand still and do what Jonny Bairstow’s doing here today. He doesn’t need to run at bowlers, he doesn’t need to lose his head, and he doesn’t need to slog balls straight up in the air when England are in all sorts of strife.’

Pietersen wants Stokes to stand still at the crease like the in-form Jonny Bairstow

Since taking on the captaincy, Stokes has made it clear that he wants his team to play their cricket in a positive manner.

It paid off against New Zealand as England won all three matches, but this approach did lead to some soft dismissals along the way. 

Pietersen has no issue with Stokes taking the attack to the opposition, but he has urged the all-rounder to stay still at the crease to give himself the best chance of finding his timing, rather than charging down the wicket and hitting the ball up in the air.

‘I would not tell him at all to not go after the bowlers in the way he goes after the bowlers, but please stand still and watch what Jonny Bairstow is doing at the moment, because he’s too good a player to slog it up in the air, slog it to mid-off and slog himself out,’ Pietersen added.

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