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Toughest wicket I have played on: Pietersen

Vijay Lokapally
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CRICKET / We are looking to restrict them: Jadeja

Bowling with heart:On a pitch which offered nothing, Ishant Sharma made it tough for players like Kevin Pietersen who ‘found Ishant incredibly difficult to play’.— Photo: K.R. Deepak
Bowling with heart:On a pitch which offered nothing, Ishant Sharma made it tough for players like Kevin Pietersen who ‘found Ishant incredibly difficult to play’.— Photo: K.R. Deepak

Kevin Pietersen, an imperious batsman in any form of the game, stood shackled. He did leave the crease but sparingly. His 73 was finely crafted and he valued it too.

“It’s the toughest wicket I have played Test cricket on in terms of scoring runs. I found Ishant incredibly difficult to play.

“I don’t have a clue what the pitch will do later; its playing pretty similar to what it did at the start of the day, but, goodness, it’s slow.

“I think the key today was to try to bat as long as possible because I don’t think that wicket is getting any better. Like I said after the runs in Mumbai, it means absolutely nothing until the game is over,” said Pietersen.

Given the state of the pitch, it was not surprising that Pietersen praised debutant Joe Root. He said, “Root is brilliant. He is his own man. He played some lovely cricket strokes.

“Never judge anybody after a couple of hours of batting, but he showed signs of what could be a very good Test career. I didn’t need to help (him). He came in there and scored freely. He is a good little player and a lovely man.”

Observing that England was in a position of strength for having two seamers, Pietersen continued: “When you are the tourists, obviously Indians think that’s the kind of wicket they have to prepare to take the series back.

“We have had incredible challenges in the last two-three years as a team and this is another one.

“As for viewers, I don’t think they will have any interest in what I have to say as they must have switched off four-five hours ago! But it’s an incredible challenge for the lads to see what we can make out of this.”

How were Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja? The England batsman was generous: “They are good bowlers. Good cricketers. If you look at the numbers, Jadjea has got incredible stats form this year’s Ranji — I saw them when I was waiting to bat. He has had a blinder of a year.

“Jadeja’s intensity on the field is good, Chawla as well.

For me, it’s a case of worrying about our dressing room but they are good cricketers.”

Jadeja confessed there was little help from the pitch.

“The wicket is really flat.

“It is very slow and the fast bowler is also finding it difficult.

“For a spinner, there is no turn and the bounce is also slow so we are trying to bowl at the stumps and not let them score easily. We will also have to score that many when our turn comes. We are looking to restrict them by bowling a stump-to-stump line,” said the debutant.

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