LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Kevin Pietersen can shrug off the disappointment of losing the England captaincy by becoming the world’s number one test batsman, Michael Vaughan said on Friday.
Pietersen stepped down after less than six months as captain earlier this month after a disagreement over the coaching of the team on a tumultuous day for English cricket when coach Peter Moores was also sacked.
“Kevin Pietersen could have been a good captain but obviously it was taken from him,” Vaughan, Pietersen’s predecessor as captain, told Sky News.
“His goal now has to be the number one batsman in the world and I hope he can achieve that.”
The South African-born batsman, who scored a century in his first appearance since resigning the captaincy against a St Kitts XI this week, lies fourth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) test batting rankings and eighth in the one-day standings.
“He’ll be big and bold enough to make sure he goes and scores as many runs as he can and I’d be amazed if he’s not the leading scorer in the West Indies,” the 2005 Ashes-winning skipper said.
“When he gets that bit between his teeth, he generally produces under pressure and there’s no bigger stage now for him to go out and get a hundred in Jamaica next week.”
The first test of England’s four-match series in West Indies begins on Wednesday in Kingston. (Writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Clare Fallon)