Kevin Pietersen has asked the English players to take inspiration from what he did in Mumbai eight years ago and how he negotiated the conditions to score runs. Pietersen has further added that neither Mumbai nor Ahmedabad was dangerous for the batsmen and it needed skills to bat on.
England were completely outplayed in the second and third Test in Chennai and Ahmedabad respectively, landing India an unassailable lead of 2-1 in the series. The amount of turn both pitches offered in the last two Tests were way too much for the English team to handle with Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel spinning a web around them.
While many former and current English players termed the pitch unfit for Test Cricket, Kevin Pietersen brushed that aside and stated that good players find a way to tackle the conditions, like he did in 2012 in Mumbai. With the ball turning from Day 1, Pietersen scored a career-defining knock of 186 runs to lead England to a win.
“Go and have a look at a lot of the balls that were bowled in Mumbai. And guess what, I found a way and I defended every single ball that was straight. Every single ball that pitched and bounced and went over my shoulder, I parked it to one side and said ‘I’m never hitting that so who cares? Who cares if that goes through the top?’ he told TalkSport, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“How many of the England batsmen came down the wicket and punched it to mid-off like Rohit Sharma did when he batted in the first innings? How many tried to rotate strike by using the crease, coming down the wicket? They were just sitting ducks waiting to get done. Go and have a look at my innings that I played in Mumbai in 2012 on an absolute Bunsen burner. They say it’s the greatest innings played by a foreigner in India,” Pietersen further added.
The former English maverick batsman, who, among other things, had success as a cricketer in India and Sri Lanka – some of the toughest conditions for any overseas batsman – stated that neither Ahmedabad in 2021 nor that of Mumbai in 2012 was dangerous and no batsman was hurt. He further added that these kinds of wickets test a batsman’s skillset.
“Neither that pitch in Mumbai eight yesars ago nor the one in Ahmedabad were dangerous. No one was worried about getting hurt on Thursday. And who cares about the ball that pitches and goes straight to slip? You are not going to hit it. But find a way to intimidate the bowler.
“There are only two great Test match batsmen on show here: Virat Kohli and Joe Root. There are some very good players in the rest of the batting line-up. But on that kind of wicket, when it’s going to be testing your skill and your technique and your resolve, you need better players and better players would have been able to adapt at some stage,” he signed off.