Not being able to score runs is painful. I’m sure you have experienced something similar to Kevin Pietersen and his slump as England play Pakistan.
59 runs in 6 innings? Awful; especially when you decide the best form of defence is attack and hook straight down deep square leg’s throat.
So what are KP and his coaches Andy Flower and Graham Gooch going to do about it?
Right now the England boys are keeping their cards close to their chest, but PitchVision Academy has spoken to KP very recently when filming for his online coaching course.
And of course we talked about form, and getting it back.
Here’s what I found out from the man himself.
Don’t call it a slump
KP is a confident guy, he knows a big score is just around the corner. This isn’t a loss of form, just the normal run of things. You will get low scores you will get out. As he told me himself, “so what? You will always get another go.”
KP scores a hundred in Test cricket on average every 7 innings. And boy he knows it. He’ll be reminding himself that he is due. It was only the previous English summer that he scored a double century and a big hundred against India.
“Always be the last person to leave the nets” was another rule KP told me he lives by. Nobody practices harder or longer than KP.
That’s not just a cliché for the press either. You only have to ask PitchVision’s Head of Coach Education Mark Garaway who coached KP for a long time as England analyst. He has told me many times how sore his shoulder got from the endless throwdowns he gave back then.
KP’s coaches, especially Andy Flower, don’t guess anymore; they know. Gone are the days of conjuring up a theory. It’s now all about analysis and evidence and highly specific practicing. The “no stone unturned” style is well documented.
And nowhere is that easier than the ICC Academy in Dubai where PitchVision, Bola and ProBatter technology makes practice as close to game intensity as possible.
Meanwhile everything is analysed and strategies are formulated against specific bowlers on the specific venues that matches are played.
And you can absolutely do the same at your level. You don’t need millions to invest in a high-tech centre. Some old scorebooks to review scores at your ground, a video camera, PitchVision and your nets (some places even have PV built in) is all the tools you need to make your preparation better than any other team you play.
Stick to your guns
KP did a great session in the nets with us talking about playing spin. We got it all on camera of course, but critics might ask what he really knows as he struggled against Saheed Ajmal.
Well, he knows quite a bit about playing great spinners. He succeeded many times against Shane Warne in those Ashes battles. But it goes back further than that, as he told me himself,
“I never ever fought against my technique and I never fought against my talent or the way that I play. I was very lucky to have coaches called Harry Brown and Graham Ford in South Africa who just coached me for me. There were never ever coaches who forced me to comply with a certain technique to be successful. They saw me, they saw my talent, and they told me to just play. As long as you do the volume of work then there's no way you should change anything.”
That’s why I know KP won’t be making any huge technical changes to score the runs. He already knows he can do it in the way that he plays, so why change?
That’s a truck we can all learn; work hard and find a method that works for you. That way you can ignore the criticisms, even if you make a mistake.
Form may be temporary, but with modern methods employed by KP, poor form is a much shorter spell to endure too.