Kevin Pietersen and Rahul Dravid both played for Royal Challengers Bangalore during the second and the third edition of the IPL, and during that time there was a buzz in the international cricket about KP’s problem with the left arm spinners and how he was getting out to left arm spinners regularly. There was a time, when KP came to bat, the opposition captain used to give the ball to left arm spinners. It was during that time, Kevin Pietersen sought the help of Rahul Dravid on how to play spin.
On England’s tour to Bangladesh in May- June 2010, the Batsman was consistently found wanting against the bowling of Sakib-al-Hasan and Abdur Razzak, the two left arm Bangladeshi off-spinners. Pietersen was twice dismissed by Sakib-al-Hasan on that tour.
In his letter, Rahul Dravid said that the South African born batsman is a very good player of spin, although being criticized by many. Dravid advised Pietersen to play spin without pads in the nets, in doing so he would try to play more with his bat and that will help him to be far more positive and secured against the spinners. The main problem with left arm spinners is many-a-times batsman play according to the angle and people think that a ball pitching in middle will go down the leg side, but just a bit of turn helps the ball to wrap on the pads and the batsman get caught.
However throughout the letter, Rahul Dravid keeps reminding KP that his advice might not turn out well. The advice by Dravid however seemed to have helped Kevin Pietersen, as couple of years down the line KP scored 151 against the Sri Lankan team which had the left arm spinner Rangana Herath in their team. He helped England to win that test in Colombo. Later that year, when England toured India, in the Second Test at Wankhede, KP once again showed his magic touch hitting a sublime 186 against India, which is often considered as his greatest innings as it was on a pitch that was producing venomous spin. This knock of his perhaps gave confidence to other English players and helped England to win the series in India.
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