Is Pietersen set for a return to the England captaincy?

Broad's shoulder injury leaves his Twenty20 side searching for leader. Who better than an in-form KP?

Kevin Pietersen may be in line for a startling recall as England captain. Such a proposition, once possessing as much feasibility as his becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, became all too apparent as England's plans for two Twenty20 matches next week were thrown into disarray yesterday.

The T20 captain, Stuart Broad, will miss the games against West Indies at The Oval, as well as the one-day series in India next month, with a torn right shoulder muscle. Eoin Morgan, the team's vice captain, has already been ruled out of cricket for 12 weeks, also with a shoulder injury.

The selectors, who intend to name their squad tomorrow, will now be casting around for somebody else to shoulder the burden, as it were. Candidates within the existing squad are hardly obvious. It is possible that the selectors might ask Alastair Cook, the 50-over captain, to step in as a short-term measure. Although Cook is not in the T20 side because he is deemed not to have quite the appropriate qualities, it would be a valid call.

Equally, Cook has already had a long summer and may need the week off before leading the team on the sub-continent. Pietersen is more at ease with himself than for some time and is also in splendid form. Although he was a reluctant convert to T20 he has shown himself to be highly adept at it.

It would need a significant rapprochement. Pietersen lost the England captaincy early in 2009 after the schism between him and the then coach, Peter Moores, was revealed. Pietersen had intended to have Moores removed and when this became public his position became untenable. Both men went, which led to the appointments of Andy Flower as coach and Andrew Strass as captain.

Broad was made T20 captain in succession to Paul Collingwood earlier this summer. At the same time, Cook was made captain of the one-day team. The loss of Broad is significant and badly timed.

Although two hurriedly arranged late season matches are hardly of any import, Broad's absence will deprive him of much needed leadership experience. England defend their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka next September and have only a handful of matches before then.

There are other candidates for the captaincy. Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan were both in the World Twenty20 team and both are sure of their place. Neither stands out. Indeed, they may both be better as the naughty boys at the back of the class, although Swann, in particular, may have more credentials than first seems likely. If the selectors are looking for a possible future captain in any form, Ian Bell should be their man.

It is hardly what England wanted in matches they hardly wanted in the first place. The games were arranged to fill a hole in the broadcasting rights agreement which appeared after scheduled matches agreed as part of a package with the millionaire financier, Allen Stanford, were shelved. Stanford was arrested on several charges alleging fraud in the US and remains in prison awaiting trial.

Broad may or may not be fit to fly to India for the solitary T20 match at the end of October after the five one-dayers. It would hardly be worth it except for the imminence of the World championship.

The news took the edge of what should have been a happy day for English cricket. Their players dominated shortlists at the ICC annual awards in London last night, with Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott two of the four nominations in the Cricketer of the Year category. Fast bowler Jimmy Anderson joined them on the list of four for the Test player of the year and Tim Bresnan was in the running for outstanding T20 performance of the year.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?