Ashes / Features

Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 1st day

How Pietersen dominated Warne

How Kevin Pietersen dominated Shane Warne on the opening day at Adelaide

S Rajesh

December 1, 2006

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Warne versus Pietersen, over the wicket, on the opening day at Adelaide (click here for a larger image) © Hawk-Eye
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Kevin Pietersen versus Shane Warne has been a battle to savour ever since the two clashed for the first time in a Test at Lord's in the 2005 series. Pietersen managed 48 from 63 balls in that match, and has since then had the upper hand over Warne. Their head-to-head stats reveal that Pietersen has scored 230 runs off Warne in 347 balls, and has been dismissed just three times. That gives him a superb average of 76.67 against Warne, and a scoring rate of 3.98 runs per over.

Pietersen's strategy against Warne has always been based on aggression, and it was no different on the first day at Adelaide. On a first-day pitch, that was a sensible strategy too, as it allowed England to wrest the initiative after Australia had choked the runs through the first couple of sessions.



Warne versus Pietersen, round the wicket, on the opening day at Adelaide (click here for a larger image) © Hawk-Eye
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Pietersen announced his intentions early, lofting the fifth ball he faced from Warne for a huge six. That set the tone, and after 18 balls from him, Warne had scored 20 runs, including two fours off successive balls. The scoring rate then slowed thereafter - there was a passage of 11 consecutive dot balls at one stage - but Pietersen had announced his arrival in style, and thereafter it was he who controlled the momentum. On a pitch which didn't offer him much assistance, Warne had no option but to resort to a round-the-wicket, outside-leg line to prevent the runs (indicated by the number of blue dots in the second graphic). Pietersen ended the day with 29 from 42 balls against Warne, and there could be more excitement in store in the two face off on the second day.

Other stats highlights

1.89 - Paul Collingwood's scoring rate against Glenn McGrath in all Tests. In 95 balls from McGrath, Collingwood has only scored 30 runs, but importantly, he hasn't been dismissed even once

4 - The number of half-centuries for Ian Bell against Australia in 13 Test innings. The highest of those scores, though, is only 65

8 - The number of times, out of 13 innings against Australia in Tests, that Andrew Strauss has fallen for less than 25

20.45 - Ian Bell's scoring rate against Shane Warne (9 runs in 44 balls) in his 60 on the opening day at Adelaide. Kevin Pietersen, on the other hand, milked Warne for 29 from 42 balls

131 - The number of dot balls in the first session on the opening day, which converts to nearly 22 out of the 28 overs before lunch

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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