In preparation for the upcoming five-match Test series between India and England, former England captain Kevin Pietersen has offered valuable advice to the current Test team. Pietersen emphasized the importance of avoiding dismissals through bowled or lbw against the left-arm spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
Recalling his own experience facing Jadeja, Pietersen highlighted the significance of solid technique. He noted that while Jadeja may not possess the variety of legendary spinners like Murali or Shane Warne, a batsman with a sound technique can handle his deliveries effectively. Pietersen stressed the need for good footwork, discouraging front-foot planting, and advised batsmen to focus on playing down the line of the ball to minimize the risk of bowled or lbw dismissals.
Regarding veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Pietersen shared insights into facing his 'doosra.' Having successfully picked up cues from Ashwin's loading of the ball at the back of his run-up, Pietersen expressed confidence in attacking the off-spinner and recommended the England batters to do the same.
Reflecting on his experience during the 2012 tour of India, Pietersen discussed a valuable drill that he, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow utilized in batting practice. The drill aimed at enhancing the ability to wait for the ball, pick its length, and play through the off side. Pietersen emphasized the importance of learning not to commit to the front foot prematurely, promoting a solid defense as a foundation for confident and effective attacking play.
In terms of key players for England in the upcoming series, Pietersen highlighted the significance of Joe Root. Commending Root's ability to wait for the ball, play off the back foot, and display a broad range of strokes, Pietersen described him as a fabulous and increasingly dangerous player. He commended Root's adaptability, evident in his willingness to incorporate unconventional shots like reverse-sweeping seamers, showcasing a player evolving and reinventing his game.
(With Agency Inputs)