London: Former Australia leg spinner Shane Warne believes Alastair Cook is the ideal captain for controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen, saying their match-winning partnership in the Mumbai Test against India can mark a start of new era in England.
“It really helps Kevin Pietersen to have a captain such as Cook. This a fresh start for KP and England. If the captain didn’t want him in the team then there is no way he would be back in the side,” Warne wrote in his column for a leading daily.
“It was a good move from Cook to say, ‘You know what, we know we need our best batsmen so forget about everything else’. It sends a message to the media, all the players and KP: this is a new captain, a new regime and let’s start all over again with a clean slate,” he added.
“From my experience of playing with him, Pietersen needs to be made to feel important. If that happens he will give a lot more and Cook has done that by saying, ‘I want KP in the team because he is the top dog’,” he wrote.
Warne added: “Cook understands that with KP around, the team are a lot better than without him. It would have been a very different outcome if Pietersen had been back in England instead of in Mumbai.”
“Over the next couple of years that Cook and KP partnership will be crucial. They really look like they have developed a bond and a good working relationship,” he further wrote.
“It helped KP that Cook was at the crease when he went out to bat. His mind was scrambled in the first Test and it showed in the way he played,” he added.