Kevin Pietersen, the former England batsman, has revealed how Rahul Dravid, the former Indian captain, helped him get better at playing spin during his career.
Pietersen had his fair share of issues against left-arm spinners during the initial period of his career. The right-hander used to get frequently dismissed by the left-arm spinners. Pietersen endured a horrendous series in Bangladesh back in 2010 where he kept getting out to the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Abdul Razzak.
It was at this point in time that Rahul Dravid, who had spent two years playing alongside KP at the Royal Challengers Bangalore, sent what the South African has described the ‘most beautiful email’ where the Indian wall explained to his former teammate the art of playing spin bowling, something KP revealed changed his career forever.
“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,” Kevin Pietersen said on Sky Sports.
‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t play spin’- Rahul Dravid to Kevin Pietersen
Back in 2017, Kevin Pietersen had mentioned an excerpt from Dravid’s email in 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!” the mail further read.
Nick Knight, a former English white-ball opener, who played more than 100 ODIs for the ‘Three Lions’ between 1996-2003 revealed how he always used to play with the spin as per the coaching manual, and how the game has evolved in the past decade or so.
“I would always look to play with the spin, the coaching manual told me to play with the spin. 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.” Knight added.