English cricket has a lot to thank the Indian Premier League for. Not only have their cricketers (read: Ben Stokes) been paid a bomb, but a certain letter from Rahul Dravid helped Kevin Pietersen improve his game.
When the two were playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore during the second and third seasons of the IPL, the former English batsman had asked Dravid for advice on how to play spin.
During Bangladesh’s tour of England in 2010, Pietersen had struggled to play against left-arm spinners Shakib Al-Hasan and Abdur Razzak.
Pietersen in his autobiography, KP: The Autobiography, published a letter Rahul Dravid had then sent him on how to overcome the shortcoming.
“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. 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!” wrote Dravid in a letter to Pietersen
Recalling the former Indian batting legend’s influence in his career while commentating in this year’s Indian Premier League, Pietersen said:
Rahul Dravid has helped me in my career. I owe it to the Indian Premier League that I had the ability to tap into a genius like that which helped me in my career overcome a shortfall and then go from strength to strength.
The kindness, generosity and the time he took to write that email and as simple as he made it sound, it was so beneficial to me. It was beneficial for English cricket too as I managed to sort out a deficiency in my technique, which assisted England because it helped me perform a lot better for my country.Kevin Pietersen
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