Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 1st day

Curse continues for Pietersen

David Hopps

February 3, 2012

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen plays a ball to the leg side, Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 1st day, February 3, 2012
Kevin Pietersen looked in good touch, making 32 before falling lbw to Abdur Rehman © AFP

The curse of the left-arm spinner returned to haunt Kevin Pietersen in the final Test in Dubai only hours after he insisted he had eradicated the weakness from his game.

Pietersen was beside himself with frustration as he was adjudged leg before to Abdur Rehman for 32 as he showed glimpses of form for the first time in the series. The decision by the umpire, Simon Taufel, could not have been more marginal and left Pietersen passionately bemoaning his misfortune with England's coach Andy Flower.

"I have an average of 37 against left-arm spin - it's not a train crash," Pietersen told Sky Sports before the third Test as England tried to stave off their first Test whitewash against Pakistan.

"It's been made into a media thing," Pietersen said. "It is something I've had to live with. I used to have a flaw but I sorted it out. Left-arm spinners have bowled me the most balls on the tour."

Pietersen called for a review after a prolonged discussion with his captain, Andrew Strauss, who was at the non-striker's end, but umpire Taufel's decision was upheld by the narrowest of margins as Hawk Eye suggested the ball would have shaved leg stump.

It was all too much for Pietersen who since the advent of DRS must feel that he is defending two sets of stumps, not one. The number of lbw decisions in Tests in 2012 are running at an all-time high.

Pietersen put the shift in the balance of power down to the time when Sachin Tendulkar was give out lbw to Monty Panesar on the front foot in a test in Nagpur six years ago. The decision brought Panesar his first Test wicket and caused him to slalom through the slips in delight.

"As soon as Aleem Dar gave Sachin Tendulkar out to Monty Panesar, Test cricket changed," Pietersen said. "I have had to change the way I play because of DRS.I am a big guy and a few years ago I was able to push well forward and never get out."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (February 4, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

I Think Pietersen is a World Class Player along with Ponting, Clarke, Younis & Strauss!!! It's just a bad time for him. Hope soon he will be back in Form!!! Best Regards

Posted by dcrowle on (February 4, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

He's still a South African who couldn't get a game. Out's out mate. Batting average of 37 seems really quite poor versus his overall average of 49. Hit the ball, no LBW. Easiest decision DRS never made...

Posted by hhillbumper on (February 4, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

julian reifer.You are so right it is some sort of conspiracy against certain countries. Why don't you go to a darkened room and write down how it has all gone wrong.we will be here waiting for your searing insight.Go to it mate tell us how it is in the real world

Posted by JG2704 on (February 4, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

I'm guessing this article was pretty much ready to publish before the test even started. KP was so much more positive today and if England go on to win this game KP should take a certain amount of credit. Sure he only scored 32 but not only did he look positive when he was at the crease , Strauss looked positive when KP was at the crease and Strauss looked to lose that new found positivity as soon as KP was out. I actually find it funny that you do an article on KP the very same day that Bell and Morgan both failed yet again. Why - if anyone should get these pressure headlines - should it be KP every time?

Posted by maxximoo on (February 4, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

I think batsmen from (most places) around the world thought the DRS would make it better for them - it was supposed to get rid of clangers, but i bet they never considered it's effect on the 'benefit of the doubt' that reduced LBW to only obvious dismissals. I suggest batsmen re-learn to use their bats. I get annoyed when batsmen complain when the DRS shows them out in agreeance with the umpire if the ball is shown to be clipping the stumps. If it missed your pads it would have disturbed your castle!

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Yes, KP, go on, blame someone/something else...again. You shine and shine and shine like a black hole.

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

i don't understand why people are looking for peitersen, he has done well over the year and he has the best average out of all the current players in the england team.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (February 4, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

''He's tall, he's loud, he's brash ... but "KP" is also a superb batsman, capable of annexing many of England's Test records before he's done. He reached 1000 one-day runs in just 21 matches - equalling Viv Richards' record - while he made more runs in his first 25 Tests than anyone else except Don Bradman. He's strong on the drive, with a crunching pull and hook, while his signature shot is the "flamingo" - a wristy pull-drive played with back foot balletically off the ground. There's also the switch-hit reverse sweep, which needed a ruling on its legality from MCC''. This is the start of KP's profile on cricinfo.... Mentioned alongside Richards & Bradman! Sounds a good player doesn't he..??. Is that why other team supporters don't like him?? If u are having a go at a guy mentioned alongside Richards & Bradman what hope is there for anyone else??! Or are you all just a teeny bit jealous? Cheers

Posted by tompuffin on (February 4, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

Yes, I'm glad to see from the comments below that most Pakistani, English and other supporters realize that there is a piece of willow in the batsman's hands that is especially tailor made to hit leather balls! If only the English batsman realized this! The Pakistani batsman need to try hitting the balls with the center of the flat surface, not the edges.

Posted by Indus11 on (February 4, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

Who remembers the Pak tour of England circa 1981/1982 ? Abdul Qadir's spin was so brilliant that England had no answer and would have been white washed by Pak for the first time - had DRS had been around. The likes of Botham would just stick their front foot out at the ball and - as KP says "never get out" - How Qadir must be loving the DRS system. It is for a Spin bowler - "The Equalizer" - and for the fans around the world - test cricket has come alive !!!!

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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