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Updated January 21st, 2024 at 20:05 IST

'He isn't Murali or Warne': Kevin Pietersen on how to tackle the spin myriad of Ashwin and Jadeja

Ahead of the start of the India vs England 5-match Tests series, former England captain has some advice to give to England players. 1st Test to begin on Jan 25.

Reported by: Prateek Arya
Kevin Pietersen and Ashwin/Jadeja
Kevin Pietersen and Ashwin/Jadeja | Image:AP
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With only a handful of days left to the start of India vs England Test series, the contest that cricket fans are waiting to witness is between the indefatigable "Bazball" and the guile of spin twins Ashwin and Jadeja. It is slated to be an intriguing affair as it is not just going to be a one-off contest, rather both the powerhouses would have to show persistence in this 5-match affair. The 1st Test is scheduled to start on January 25, 2024.

3 things you need to know

  • Kevin Pietersen has some advice for England batters
  • Pietersen narrates how to play Ashwin and Jadeja
  • India vs England Test series to begin on January 15, 2024

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Kevin Pietersen on how to pick Ashwin

Ahead of the start of the India vs England Test series, former England captain Kevin Pietersen has come out with a few important pointers for the England team to note. Pietersen proved to be the star performer with the bat along with Alastair Cook in England's tour of India in 2012. England's 2-1 victory over India in the series, is still registered as the last time a travelling team found success in the Indian sub-continent.

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Reflecting on what worked for him during that tour, KP has given a theoretical lesson to England batters on the subject of how to tackle the spin challenge of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Speaking to The Times, Pietersen narrated how he picked the variations of Ashwin in 2012 and said the same method can prove to be useful even today.

“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,” said Pietersen. “I was 100 per cent confident when he was going to bowl it and you’d see how many times I hit him over the off side. I’d see the doosra at the back of his mark and, because he had a stacked leg-side field because the ball was turning so much, I’d think ‘four or six."

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Pietersen highlights the importance of technique in playing Jadeja

After Ashwin, Pietersen paid heed to the second member of the spin-twin duo, Ravindra Jadeja. To play Jadeja, Kevin stressed on the solidarity of the technique and mentioned the role of the feet in playing Jadeja skillfully.

"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,” he said.

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“If you nick it to slip, no problem at all. If you get bowled or lbw that’s a big issue. You have so much time to wait for the ball and then judge length or line and then move,” he added.

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Published January 21st, 2024 at 20:05 IST

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