Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen has advised Australia to either learn to play spin quickly or skip the tour to India for the upcoming four-match Test series later this month.
“Learn to play spin very quick. If you can’t play spin, don’t even go,” Pietersen was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au.
Australia will play their first Test against India, starting on February 23.
Pietersen, who had scored 338 runs at an average of 48.29, to guide England to their series win against India in 2012, said: “When you get there (India) you’ve got to practice it, and you can actually practice it here - I can do spinning drills in Australia, I did them ... on a South African wicket to make sure that my feet were going and picking length.
“You can, you don’t need to be on a spinning wicket to play spin properly or practice spin, you can be on any type of wicket. It’s about picking length, and picking lines and getting your feet going,” he added.
Australia haven’t fared well in Tests while touring South Asia since 2004. They have just three victories from 20 Tests -- two of those in Bangladesh more than a decade ago. In fact, only two batsmen in the current Australian squad have Test average of above 40 in Asian conditions.
Australia had suffered a 0-3 defeat in the recent series at Sri Lanka, where only skipper Steven Smith and Shaun Marsh managed to score more than 60 runs in an innings in the entire series.
Pietersen also offered some tips regarding footwork to the Australian batsmen.
“As soon as you start planting like a lot of southern hemisphere batters do – dead,” Pietersen said. “Don’t plant your front foot. Wait for the ball, engage. Where is it? Pick it, and then play. (You have) plenty of time, if you can play somebody (bowling) at 150 (km/h) and get into good positions, (you can do it against) somebody bowling at 50 miles an hour. I always looked to score. I was always looking for a boundary every single ball. So I didn’t really change, it was just my feet that had to change.”