Kevin Pietersen recently revealed how Rahul Dravid’s advice had helped him play spin bowling better. The former England captain had struggled in the 2010 Test series on the slow turning surfaces of Bangladesh. It was after this series that Kevin Pietersen had sought the help of The Wall.
The South African born English batsman narrated how Rahul Dravid had explained the importance of picking up the length early and playing the ball with the bat. According to Kevin Pietersen, this little advice changed his whole approach of playing spin for the better.
“Dravid wrote me the most beautiful e-mail”, said Kevin Pietersen on Sky Sports. “Ever since then it was a whole new world. The key point was looking for the length as soon as the ball was delivered - wait for the spinner and make your decision.”
Rahul Dravid asked Kevin Pietersen to practice without pads
In his book ‘KP: The Autobiography’ which was released in 2017, Kevin Pietersen had cited an excerpt from the mail the former Indian captain had sent him. “Play Swann and Monty without pads (probably not on the day before a match)," Rahul Dravid had written to him.
The whole idea of the practice strategy was to get your bat in front of the pad. The absence of protection would mean that the batsman would involuntarily come at the ball with his bat.
“When you have no pads it will force you, sometimes painfully, to get the bat forward of 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!”
The fact that Rahul Dravid was impressed by Pietersen's batting is quite clear from what he said towards the end of the mail.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t play spin, I have seen you and you can!”
The duo had played together in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore for two years, 2009 & 2010. In fact, Kevin Pietersen replaced Rahul Dravid as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore after the first season of the IPL.Published 02 Aug 2020, 22:06 IST