Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 1st day February 3, 2012

Curse continues for Pietersen

34

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 !!!!

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 !!!!

  • whyowhy on February 4, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    If Kev's brain was half as big as his ego, he might be a better player..........

  • golax on February 3, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    I've been disappointed with a few of the articles since they ever so subtly play down the Pakistani bowlers' efforts. I mean really, the marginal decisions can go both ways. Sure, England have had the rough end of it in this match but the DRS is (ideally) designed to eliminated any bias. A marginal call, by definition, could go either way. One can argue for or against the call, which is why I personally like the clause of the DRS that there must be doubtless evidence to reverse a call. Of course, one can't help it if knuckleheads like Tarapore don't follow the system. To complete my earlier rant, it has been stressed across 2 articles now that there were many marginal calls against England. They just leave a bit of a bad taste considering that the cricket has been awesome.

  • warnerbasher on February 3, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    Heres a tip to avoid getting out LBW Kev. Use your bat. It aint rocket science.

  • JG2704 on February 3, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    @Green_and_Gold on (February 03 2012, 17:24 PM GMT) Lol - superb response bud

  • Rahulbose on February 3, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Sounds like living in denial to me. No wonder Eng have not improved against spin.

  • on February 3, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    You have to understand his frustration, but the DRS is being overrated here. It looked out straight away when I saw it Live.

  • Green_and_Gold on February 3, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    @ Julian Reifer - what if Eng were playing Aus - then are you saying there would be no wickets because the umpires favor both team?

  • GlobalCricketFan99 on February 3, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    re post by Posted by Erebus26 on (February 03 2012, 14:24 PM GMT). The reason KP is getting all the posts is because he acts like a big head and makes excuses, Morgan and Bell have just got on with - miond you not very well.

  • philipg33 on February 3, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Why on earth is Cricinfo hounding Pietersen again????? He batted superbly today until what in my opinion was a poor decision. Too much guessing from the umpire and too small an amount of contact with the stump for it to be upheld. But either way it was a good, positive innings and bodes well. Should there be a second innings he will score big and in sri lanka too. So stupid how journalists constantly pick on him, its ridiculous and makes them look like they dont know anything about cricket. Surely todays article should have been on how well broad and anderson bowled and commending pietersen and strauss for being positive despite their recent form. Great test match, lets focus on that, and the great bowling rather than these daft articles trying to get our best player dropped. And his mum is english before anyone goes on about him being south african again.....

  • yorkshire-86 on February 3, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    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." Now you have to use the bat. Cricket is supposed to be a contest between bat and ball, not pad and ball. Like Bradman said, the pad is there as a last resort to stop your legs getting broken, not to defend your stumps with. Net the England batsmen against spinners with no pads and a calor gas canister for stumps like we did as kids!

  • on February 3, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    Agree with Erebus here. He's one of two players to have NOT failed yet him getting out is highlighted. He got important runs, and Strauss would still be on 20 if KP hadn't given the innings the gear shift he did. Unfair treatment of a good player. As for people saying he shouldn't complain etc etc, he isn't complaining so much as stating fact. Everyone has had to change how they play since DRS came in, he's just making that point. He's as hard working as any cricketer on the planet so he can't be criticised on that front. And in case everyone hadn't noticed, the only reason he has so much written about him is because he is our best player, in the same way Ponting had loads written about him when in poor form. When they perform, they get less coverage because that's what's expected of them, and therefore it isn't as interesting a story.

  • AlanHarrison on February 3, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    So as I understand it, KP's explanation is a) I don't have a problem at all b) It's the media's fault c) I used to have a problem but now I don't d) It's Panesar's fault for dismissing Tendulkar six years ago e) It's the fault of DRS. Pietersen's batting certainly isn't breaking any records on this tour but he must here have some sort of record for the rapid production of excuses. I'd have sympahty for him for the way he's been singled out as a scapegoat for England's recent defeats, but unfortunately these excuses are self-contradictory nonsense. Panesar's first test wicket was years before DRS, so how can Pietersen mention them in the same breath? And recent years (since around 2005, Pietersen's debut year) have statistically been easier for batsmen than bowlers in tests than previous eras. The fact that Pietersen is in cricinfo's England all time XI ahead of some batsmen who played in more difficult eras and attained higher averages (e.g., Denis Compton) is a joke.

  • Erebus26 on February 3, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Pietersen has made the second highest score of the England innings so far so why is there an article singling him out? His was not the only wicket to fall to Rehman's left arm finger spin today. I'm not the biggest fan of KP but he cops more than a fair share of negative headlines in the media especially when England have failed. This I feel is unfair especially when other batsman have failed. Morgan and Bell have looked equally, if not more clueless, against the Pakistani bowling attack but where are articles which are critical of these players? Again it's the case of another journalist going after an easy target. So Pietersen has said is problems are sorted against left-arm spinners? What do you expect him to say? That he is rubbish against it? That he doesn't know how he's going to cope against these spin orientated attacks on the subcontinent? This is another example of shoddy journalism.

  • on February 3, 2012, 14:14 GMT

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

  • Scube on February 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    For all the good intentions of ICC to use technology to the benefit of cricket, unless they consciously weed out the human intervention by third umpires with an iron hand, use of DRS will always be laughable stuff! The third umpire should STRICTLY go by the evidence he is presented with and not override it with his assumptions even if they are genuine! They had no business giving Dravid out twice in the Eng series when those idiots ruled against him stating that there was a noise and it could have come only from the bat! Same with Hafeez's decision today! When there was no obvious proof to give the batsman out, he gets the benefit of doubt and not the stupid third umpire!

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on February 3, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    "I am a big guy and a few years ago I was able to push well forward and never get out." Well that says it all and that is the problem. Cricket is supposed to be a contest between bat and ball not a boring blocking of the ball with the pads. If DRS is now providing more correct decisions and stopping these tactics, long live DRS! I would suggest a further improvement - no runs for leg byes unless avoiding bouncers.

  • on February 3, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    I believe it true for KP. its a curse for unable to score in whole test series!

  • Yevghenny on February 3, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    How does Pietersen's left arm spin statistics measure up to other batsmen in the world? I've never seen this comparison

  • royramesh on February 3, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    KP, IT IS NOT YOUR HIGHT OR TECHNIQUE OR MONTY GETTING SACHIN SIX YEARS AGO. IT IS WHATS IN YOUR HEAD. AND ITS SIZE TOO!

  • Blakey on February 3, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Poor diddums. You've got a bat in your hand, use it!

  • on February 3, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    The reason why you were never given out was because the umpires favored England, Australia, new zealand and south africa.

  • on February 3, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    The reason why you were never given out was because the umpires favored England, Australia, new zealand and south africa.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on February 3, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    ..."Sachin Tendulkar out to Sachin Tendulkar"... I know some players get out by faults of their own, but I can't see how this one is physically possible! I think you mean "Sachin Tendulkar out to Monty Panesar"...

  • on February 3, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    Kevin needs to just play his natural game he has lot of runs behind his belt but its not only his problem it is the English players problem in playing in Asian conditions they lack and they lack majorly ...... England is on Top of the Rankings but they will be fall from the current position very quickly and to escape this misfortune they must need to play spinners in more efficient manner spinners is the problem for them in Asian conditions Andy can help them to improve because he himself was a good player of Spinners

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 3, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    Kevin needs to just play his natural game he has lot of runs behind his belt but its not only his problem it is the English players problem in playing in Asian conditions they lack and they lack majorly ...... England is on Top of the Rankings but they will be fall from the current position very quickly and to escape this misfortune they must need to play spinners in more efficient manner spinners is the problem for them in Asian conditions Andy can help them to improve because he himself was a good player of Spinners

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on February 3, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    ..."Sachin Tendulkar out to Sachin Tendulkar"... I know some players get out by faults of their own, but I can't see how this one is physically possible! I think you mean "Sachin Tendulkar out to Monty Panesar"...

  • on February 3, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    The reason why you were never given out was because the umpires favored England, Australia, new zealand and south africa.

  • on February 3, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    The reason why you were never given out was because the umpires favored England, Australia, new zealand and south africa.

  • Blakey on February 3, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Poor diddums. You've got a bat in your hand, use it!

  • royramesh on February 3, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    KP, IT IS NOT YOUR HIGHT OR TECHNIQUE OR MONTY GETTING SACHIN SIX YEARS AGO. IT IS WHATS IN YOUR HEAD. AND ITS SIZE TOO!

  • Yevghenny on February 3, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    How does Pietersen's left arm spin statistics measure up to other batsmen in the world? I've never seen this comparison

  • on February 3, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    I believe it true for KP. its a curse for unable to score in whole test series!

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on February 3, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    "I am a big guy and a few years ago I was able to push well forward and never get out." Well that says it all and that is the problem. Cricket is supposed to be a contest between bat and ball not a boring blocking of the ball with the pads. If DRS is now providing more correct decisions and stopping these tactics, long live DRS! I would suggest a further improvement - no runs for leg byes unless avoiding bouncers.

  • Scube on February 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    For all the good intentions of ICC to use technology to the benefit of cricket, unless they consciously weed out the human intervention by third umpires with an iron hand, use of DRS will always be laughable stuff! The third umpire should STRICTLY go by the evidence he is presented with and not override it with his assumptions even if they are genuine! They had no business giving Dravid out twice in the Eng series when those idiots ruled against him stating that there was a noise and it could have come only from the bat! Same with Hafeez's decision today! When there was no obvious proof to give the batsman out, he gets the benefit of doubt and not the stupid third umpire!