Kevin Pieterson shares the email of Rahul Dravid for England openers to seek guidance for playing spin
Kevin Pieterson went on Twitter to share an email that Rahul Dravid had sent him, advising him on how to play spin in the sub-continent. He shared that memory with the England openers who played a terrible inning against Sri Lanka in the second Test.
Sri Lanka improved their batting in the second Test match against England as they scored 381 runs while batting first in the first innings. Lahiru Thirimanne started the innings alongside Kusal Perera who fell out just after scoring 6 runs, done by James Anderson.
It was not a start Sri Lanka was looking for as Anderson struck again in the same over to get rid of Oshada Fernando, chopping his stumps on the fourth ball he faced.
Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews supported the Sri Lankan batting after scoring 43 and 110 respectively. The middle-order played a vital role for Sri Lanka to reach 381, Dinesh Chandimal a crucial 52 runs and Niroshan Dickwella fell 8 runs short of his century, dismissed on 92 by Anderson.
The last four wickets fell cheaply and none of them contributed much but Dilruwan Perera who scored a decent inning of 67.
James Anderson ended with a destructive bowling figure of 40-6, his second five-wicket haul in Asia. Last time he took a fifer at the same venue in Sri Lanka in 2012.
Meanwhile, Kevin Pieterson looked very disappointed from the batting performance of England openers. He went on Twitter and shared the email that Dravid had sent him and asked the England Cricket Board to print-out the email and give it to Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley so they can learn how to tackle spin in the sub-continent.
The openers fell right into the trap of Sri Lankan spinner, Lasith Embuldeniya who picked them cheaply. England was in an awful situation, struggling on 5-2.
For your information, Pieterson was having a tough time against Bangladesh spinners during their Test series in 2010 when he decided to seek help from Dravid. The former Indian batsman told him the techniques to tackle the spinners.
‘You should never need pads to play spin’
In the email, Dravid wrote different ways to handle the spin bowling. He highlighted the significance of not committing on the front foot and also not worrying about getting beaten now and then.
“Crawley & Sibley need to go find the email that Dravid sent me about playing spin. Changed my game,”tweeted by Pieterson.
The former England batsman after sharing the email tweeted that Sibley and Crawley can call him if they want to discuss things at length.
“Hey @englandcricket, print this and give it to Sibley & Crawley. They can call me to discuss it at length if they want,”he tweeted.
Rahul Dravid and Kevin Pieterson had a great time with each other and they used to share long conversations and being professional they would seek help from each other.
Rahul Dravid being a friend and professional cricket player guided KP in length so he could improve his innings which he did and remembered his advice till now.
The email from Dravid included:
“You can practise a few things though – in the nets try and pick up length from the bowler’s hand. that will force you to watch it closely.
Look to go forward but recognise that a lot of the scoring opportunities are off the back foot, so while you’re looking to go forward you are not committing, the keyword is looking.
You are ready to rock back and pick up some runs if you can. 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 off 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 England batsman has played three innings against Sri Lanka in the ongoing Test series and struggled for runs. Sibley has just scored 6 runs in the three innings he played and Crawley scored only 22 in the same innings.