‘Dravid wrote me the most beautiful email’: How the Wall helped Kevin Pietersen bat better
Pietersen and Dravid played together for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL,and after a poor Test series against Bangladesh, KP reached out to Dravid seeking advice to play spin better.Updated: Aug 02, 2020 11:13 IST
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has revealed how Rahul Dravid helped him play spin better. Pietersen and Dravid played together for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL for two years – 2009 and 2010 – during which the two bonded, and after the England batsman endured a poor Test series against Bangladesh in 2010, struggling against the likes of Shakib-Al-Hasan and Abdul Razzak, he reached out to the former India skipper for help.
“Dravid wrote me the most beautiful email, explaining the art of playing spin and 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,” Pietersen said on Sky Sports.
Pietersen had earlier mentioned about Dravid in 2017, in an excerpt from his book ‘KP: The Autobiography’. “One good practice is to bat against Swann and Monty without pads or with just knee pads (maybe not a day before a game!). 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,” read a part of Dravid’s mail to Pietersen.
“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!! Watch the ball and trust yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t play spin, I have seen you and you can!”
Pietersen’s England teammate Nick Knight, who played 100 ODIs for England in a seven-year-long international career between 1996 and 2003, weighed in on how the dynamics of batting changed after his retirement in 2003.
“I would always look to play with the spin, the coaching manual told me to play with the spin,” he said. “People like Kevin and Dravid looked to play against the spin and to me that was so foreign - I was fearful of getting out. That’s how the game has evolved. Brave players would see it differently.”