Patience is the key against KP
Thus far no Indian player has spoken openly about taming Kevin Pietersen, but that plan might be occupying a prime place in the strategy list of the Indians.
The contest between Pietersen and the Indian spinners was expected to be a mini-battle within the war, and the first instance offered a fascinating preview.
Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin preyed on the patience of Pitersen, a naturally dominant batsman, from the moment he stepped on to the field on Friday evening. He had made his intentions clear by shimmying down the track against Ashwin off the very first ball, and he remained on the edge throughout his 56-minute stay, spanning two days.
It ended when Ojha flattened his middle-stump, also underlining left-arm spinners’ stranglehold over the Surrey batsman. Earlier, Pietersen had struggled against the left-arm spin of Pakistan’s Abdur Rehman in the UAE, Rangana Herath in Sri Lanka, and even against the part-time left-arm spin of Yuvraj Singh.
But Ojha didn’t read too much into his first-round victory. “He’s a very good batsman …look at the amount of runs he has scored. It’s a great thing to get his wicket, and obviously his wicket was the pick,” Ojha said.
“The way he’s playing, it was kind of giving me confidence, and I knew that if I bowl in the right areas and be patient, I can get him. The key to bowling against him is to be patient.”
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior also downplayed the cheap dismissal of Pietersen. “KP is a fantastic player, one of our main batters, but he’s only one player. We all have to play our own games. You watch Kev batting like he did against Steyn and Morkel, or in Colombo making 150, that’s fantastic.
“But, because he didn’t get runs today we can’t all fall apart. He’s one player in a team of eleven. We all need to hold our hands up and we all need to perform,” Prior noted.
Indian spinners might have won the round one of their fight with Pietersen. But the conqueror of Shane Warne will be eager to make a strong comeback. So, beware of KP!