Kevin Pietersen tells Australia to sack Tim Paine and hails India star

Kevin Pietersen expects Australia to sack Tim Paine following the shock Test series defeat to India and says he has never come across as an international captain.

Paine is fighting for his job after Australia were beaten 2-1 at home by a depleted India and failed to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

While the 36-year-old impressed with the bat – scoring more than 200 runs at an average of 40 – he dropped a number of chances and saw his captaincy criticised as India chased 328 in the fourth Test to secure a stunning victory.

Former England batsman Pietersen played against Paine and says he is ‘not an Australia captain’ and should be moved on before the team tour South Africa next month.

‘Australians don’t like to lose and the knives will be out for a few members of that team after this defeat,’ he told Betway.

‘We heard Tim Paine tell Ravichandran Ashwin that he “can’t wait to get you to the Gabba” – well they’ve been whacked at the Gabba, so where are they going to go now?

‘I believe that Cricket Australia will soon be looking for a new captain – Paine has never, ever been up to it.

‘He got chucked into that position when Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft got caught up in the sandpaper controversy, but from my perspective, having played against him and watched him, he’s not an Australia captain. He’s just not a good enough player, apart from anything else.

‘I would never have made him captain in the first place, and he’s probably never going to lead them into another Test match.’

India only needed a draw in the final Test in Brisbane to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy but Rishabh Pant hit a brilliant fourth-innings 89 to take the tourists to an improbable win.

The 23-year-old was not even selected for the series opener but has impressed since his recall and Pietersen was impressed by his batting.

He added: ‘India’s team mentality was unbelievable, but you still need your best players to stand up and be counted. Fortunately, they found a little gem in Rishabh Pant.

‘Pant is inconsistent and has been inconsistent for a while. I remember criticising him in the IPL, saying that he just gets out exactly the same way time after time.

‘I hope for India’s sake and for his sake that what he’s achieved over the last five days turns him from a boy into a man, in cricketing terms, because he’s so talented and exciting.

‘He can hit the ball wherever he wants to hit the ball, but he’s never really played the situation and I feel the way that he guided India to victory showed that he can do it. He can do more than just play one way.

‘He can be inspired by his performance and the way that he guided India home.

‘Pant and the other even more inexperienced members of this India team represent yet another nod to the IPL, which is the greatest academy for cricket in the world and the product of India’s unbelievable strength in depth.

‘You’ve got young players coming into this intense arena who have played with and against lots of the Australian stars before.

‘That fear of international superstars doesn’t exist – they are team-mates in their IPL franchises, they’ve whacked them all over the place or they’ve knocked them over.

‘It was a stroke of genius from Lalit Modi and the BCCI to create a league which has enabled Indian players to flourish home and away. They are reaping the rewards now.’

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