Pietersen cautions England against Jadeja, Axar

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | January 20, 2024 IST

Axar and Jadeja

New Delhi, Jan 20: Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has advised the current Test team to not get out bowled or lbw against left-arm spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. The five-match Test series between India and England begins on January 25 at Hyderabad.

Pietersen had hit a magnificent 186 on a turning pitch in the second Test against India in Mumbai, which set the base for England winning the Test series 2-1. India have emerged victorious in 16 consecutive Test series at home ever since they lost 2-1 to England in 2012.

“I faced (Ravindra) Jadeja a lot. It's about technique. Jadeja is not Murali and he's not Shane Warne. He's a left-arm spinner that bowls it one way, and occasionally, gets the ball to slide on. If your technique is solid enough to play the ball that skids on, you should be fine.”

“If your feet are good, and you are not planting your front foot and you are playing down the line of the ball, you should be fine. Just make sure you are not getting bowled or lbw. If you nick it to slip, no problem at all. If you get bowled or lbw that's a big issue. You have so much time to wait for the ball and then judge length or line and then move,” said Pietersen to The Times.

Pietersen also spoke about how the England batters should face veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. “I picked Ashwin's 'doosra'. He used to load the ball at the back of his run-up, and I think he still does that now. He never ran up with the ball in his hand as an off spinner and changed it late for the 'doosra'; you can't do that. He loaded it up early.”

“I was 100 per cent confident when he was going to bowl it and you'd see how many times I hit him over the off side. I'd see the 'doosra' at the back of his mark and, because he had a stacked leg-side field because the ball was turning so much, I'd think four or six,” he added.

From the tour of India in 2012, Pietersen recalled doing a drill during the batting practice sessions, which would come handy for the visitors’. “We used to do this drill all the time in India, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and me. Rooty is spectacular, as good as anyone.”

“It's about learning not to commit yourself on to the front foot; about waiting to pick the length of the ball, so you are not playing only with your hands. To do that, the drill is to hit any ball, wherever it pitches, through the off side. I'd spend time in the nets just defending; it's actually not negative to defend.”

“The ability to defend gives you the confidence to be able to attack. Defend; play straight lines, don't plant your front foot; wait for the ball; don't play just with your hands. If you can do that and you have the wherewithal to be able to commit to a solid defence and trust it, then it allows you to loosen up,” he added.

Pietersen also thinks premier England batter Joe Root will be a key batter for the visitors’ in the series. “He waits for the ball. He doesn't commit; he plays off the back foot. He is so, so brilliant and so decisive on whether to go forward or back. He is the most fabulous player.”

“And he is becoming an even better player because his range of stroke is broadening. Reverse-sweeping seamers shows an extravagance that is coming from someone who was quite correct for such a long period of time. He's reinventing himself and becoming a more dangerous player.” (IANS)

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