Pietersen, England's weapon to tackle spin?

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Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 13:25 [IST]
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After Kevin Pietersen's return to the Test squad, England seem to have got a boost ahead of the four-match Test series against India as the stylish right-hander has been on a high after scoring a 86-ball ton against Haryana in the final tour game at Ahmedabad.

Pietersen, England's only spin maestro?

England depend a lot on Pietersen ahead of the four-match Test series as he has been one of the best players against spinners, as many English batsmen fail against spinners.

With Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen in the side, the team has a few players who can play Indian spinners considerably well.

Given Indian spinners' efficiency on home pitches especially against England, who are vulnerable against spin, the team management had sought out new methods to tackle spin, as they watched Rahul Dravid's batting videos to learn the tactics, on how to play spin.

Here's a look at the England batsmen and their performance against India in Tests.

The South African-born cricketer has an average of 62.15 against India in Tests, as he has scored 1243 runs off 12 matches with a highest score of 202 (not out), including 5 centuries and 4 half centuries.

Pietersen has recorded 365 runs in India off 5 matches at an average of 40.55 which includes a hundred and 2 half centuries.

Given other cricketers who are currently playing for England, Ian Bell has scored 874 runs against India in 12 Tests so far, with a highest score of 235, at an average of 41.61 which includes 2 centuries and 3 half fifties.

In India, Bell averages 20, as he has scored just 180 runs, with a highest score of 57.

On the other hand, Alastair Cook has scored 875 runs against India in 11 Tests played so far and averages 46, while he averages 43 in India as he has secured 304 runs off 4 Test matches with a highest score of 104 (not out), including a hundred and 3 fifties.

Matt Prior is another player who was a part of England's squad that toured India in 2008, as he had played only 2 Tests, and averaged 44 with a total of 88 runs.

While he has collected 432 runs against India in 9 Tests played so far, averaging 39, with a highest score of 103 (not out).

This further suggests that only Cook, Pietersen are the key players for England ahead of the Test series against India, as they add strength to England's top order, while others have just been supportive by adding a couple of runs to the team, when required.

Injury woes tormenting the team, England are also finding a way out to tackle spinners, while these stats and current form also state that the team management is facing more issues ahead of the Test series.

This further suggests that England's success depends on Pietersen and Cook, as they start their campaign on Nov 15 at Ahmedabad.


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