Playing any international sport has it in it to test even the best of sportspersons. There are times when even the best of athletes require suggestions on why to get out of lean patches. Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen had shared one such incident of his career.
Pietersen highlighted the time when England was in Bangladesh for a three-match ODI and two-match Test series in 2010. In three ODIs, Pietersen had scored 41 runs at an average of 13.66 and a strike rate of 60.29. Batting at No. 3, Pietersen got out to Bangladesh left-arm spinner in Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak in all the three matches.
In the practice match which was played before the first Test in Chittagong, Pietersen got out on 2 and 20 in the first and second innings respectively. However, what was more concerning was the fact that he was dismissed by spinners on both occasions.
It was then that Pietersen eventually turned to his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Rahul Dravid for advice on how to play spinners – particularly Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak.
Following the query was raised, Dravid wrote a letter to the English cricketer. Pietersen has even mentioned this incident in his autobiography titled ‘KP: The Autobiography’. In a recent tweet which is doing the rounds contains the screenshot of Dravid’s letter from the book.
“One good practice is to bat against Swann and Monty without pads or with just knee pads (maybe not a day before a game!). When you have no pads it will force you, sometimes painfully, to get the bat forward off the pads and will force you to watch the ball. Also, the leg will be less keen to push out without any protection.
“My coach would tell me you should never need pads to play spin!! Watch the ball and trust yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t play spin, I have seen you and you can,” Dravid wrote in his letter.
Rahul Dravid's email to Kevin Pietersen when the latter asked 'The Wall' on how to play spin. pic.twitter.com/142wnaUDqo
— Khushboo Soni (@Khushboo_) September 15, 2019
In the two Tests which England played in Bangladesh, Pietersen scored 250 runs at an average of 83.33 and a strike rate of 74.18 including two half-centuries.