In a recent revelation, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen shared crucial insights into his successful strategy against the threat posed by Ravichandran Ashwin during the 2012 Test series in India. Pietersen, a key player in England’s triumphant series win at that time, has extended his valuable advice to current players like Ben Stokes, especially focusing on the challenges of facing spinners on demanding Indian pitches.
Recalling his pivotal innings of 186 in Mumbai, Kevin Pietersen emphasized his approach of attacking Ashwin through the off side, skillfully deciphering the spinner’s “doosra.” As India’s current squad features formidable spinners like Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav, Pietersen’s counsel, at the age of 43, could prove to be a game-changer for England in their upcoming series.
The 2012 triumph is etched in cricket history, serving as a benchmark for England as they aim to replicate their success in the challenging subcontinent conditions.
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Sharing insights into his success against Ashwin, Kevin Pietersen revealed, “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.” He expressed confidence in predicting when Ashwin would bowl the doosra, leading to his successful attacking strokes over the off side.
As the highly anticipated five-match Test series commences on January 25 in Hyderabad, a pitch expected to favor spin, Pietersen offered strategic advice for England. He highlighted the threat posed by spinners Jadeja and Axar alongside Ashwin.
Emphasizing the importance of technique against Jadeja, he urged England batters to avoid being dismissed bowled or lbw by the left-arm finger spinners.
“I faced 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,” Pietersen concluded, providing a comprehensive guide for England’s batsmen in navigating the challenges posed by India’s spin trio.