England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 2nd day

How Pietersen changed gears

Kevin Pietersen scored only 23 off his first 80 deliveries, but creamed 89 off his last 86

S Rajesh

July 22, 2011

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When Kevin Pietersen came out to bat on the first day he wasn't in great form, and it showed - he was scratchy, the ball found the edge of the bat on numerous occasions, and the runs were hard to come by. By the time he finished, everything was flying off the middle of the bat, and the runs were coming in a deluge. Pietersen started the Test with plenty of questions about his form and hunger, and within a couple of days he has turned it around completely, in the process carving out his third double-century and becoming one of only six batsmen to score 1000 Test runs at Lord's. Among those six, Pietersen's average of 69.52 is easily the highest; Andrew Strauss is next at 55.44.

1000 Test runs at Lord's
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Kevin Pietersen 13 1182 69.52 5/ 3
Andrew Strauss 16 1386 55.44 4/ 6
Graham Gooch 21 2015 53.02 6/ 5
Geoff Boycott 16 1189 45.73 3/ 6
Alec Stewart 20 1476 44.72 3/ 8
David Gower 17 1241 44.32 2/ 8

A look at Pietersen's run-scoring through various stages of his innings shows how he gradually turned his form around. Out of the first 80 deliveries he played, 65 were dots, and only two were fours, and both were edged through the slips. His first authoritative boundary came off his 87th delivery, when he walked across his stumps and clipped Ishant Sharma through mid-on for four. The on-side was easily his more favoured scoring area, fetching him 120 out of his 202.

The second and third sets of 80 deliveries were periods of consolidation, when Pietersen increased his scoring rate to more than three per over, and forged an important partnership with Ian Bell. And then came the final charge which completely demolished an Indian attack already missing their strike bowler. Off the last 86 balls he faced, Pietersen creamed 89, including nine fours and a six.

Slow start, frenetic finish
  Runs Dot balls 4s/ 6s
First 80 balls 23 65 2/ 0
81-160 balls 48 52 5/ 0
161-240 balls 42 58 5/ 0
Last 86 balls 89 45 9/ 1

Of all the Indian bowlers, the one who took the maximum punishment from Pietersen was Ishant - nearly half the fours that he struck in his entire innings came off Ishant. Praveen Kumar and Harbhajan Singh kept him relatively quiet, but part-timer Suresh Raina was, not surprisingly, quite clueless against him, going for 24 in eight deliveries. Unfortunately for India, their main strike bowler sent down only seven balls to Pietersen before retiring hurt.

b
Pietersen against the Indian bowlers
Bowler Balls Runs 4s/ 6s
Ishant Sharma 101 75 10/ 0
Harbhajan Singh 105 52 2/ 0
Praveen Kumar 73 39 5/ 0
Suresh Raina 8 24 3/ 1
MS Dhoni 32 12 1/ 0
Zaheer Khan 7 0 0/ 0

Click here to see the graphs - wagon-wheels, head-to-head numbers and more - from the Lord's Test.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo

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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.
Related Links
Players/Officials: Kevin Pietersen
Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: England | India
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