Boycott sees Compton~~s shadow in Pietersen

Published: Thursday, June 1, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Impressed by the maverick batsman's cavalier strokeplay, former England captain Geoff Boycott is convinced that Kevin Pietersen is Denis Compton reincarnated.

In his column for the BBC Sport website, Boycott wrote he never saw Compton playing but from whatever he heard, he had no doubt that Pietersen's unorthodox ways of doing things on-field is very similar to that of Compton." ''I never saw Denis Compton bat but people said he did outrageous things, while another player of that era, Len Hutton, was the technical perfectionist.

''But everybody I speak to tells me Compton had a sound basic technique and played a lot of orthodox cricket shots - Kevin Pietersen does the same,'' Boycott said.

Referring to the Edgbaston match against Sri Lanka where Pietersen slammed a characteristically aggressive century, the former opener said, ''Most of the attention at the second Test focused on Kevin Pietersen and the extraordinary shots he played.

''People always remember those because they capture the imagination and are exciting, but his batting is actually based on sound technique,'' he said.

Boycott was also convinced that Pietersen was not another bang-bang cricketer with a suspect technique.

''Pietersen's defence is pretty good and he gets a big stride forward. It's a very good lesson for youngsters to watch him because he rarely gets caught on the crease with poor footwork." ''He gets close to the pitch of the ball and the closer you get the less time it has to move before you hit it, which is the first thing you try to teach kids. That's why he is a good role model for them." ''He plays with the bat and pad together, his left elbow very high and he keeps the bat straight,'' elaborated Boycott.

''The other thing I like is he plays the ball with the bat when facing spin - I don't like people who stick their pad on the line of the ball and hide the bat behind it. It wasn't my way of playing and it's not Kevin Pietersen's either." ''He gets the bat in front of the pad and meets the ball, using the pad only as a second line of defence,'' he said.

''It's too early to say whether he could become one of the greats of the game but he certainly has the ability and desire to go a long way. It's difficult to judge somebody so early in his career but what's gone so far is very good,'' he added.

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