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Sri Lanka v England

‘Print this and give it to Sibley & Crawley’: KP points to Dravid email for spin advice

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Kevin Pietersen has pointed to an email Rahul Dravid sent him about tackling spin during the England batsman’s playing days as a guide to help the struggling duo of Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley.

Openers Crawley and Sibley have endured a difficult examination in England’s Tests against Sri Lanka, both falling to the left-arm spin of Lasith Embuldeniya across their three innings so far. On each occasion, both batsmen have failed to reach double figures.

On Twitter, the former England batsman – who hit four Test centuries in Asia – posted an email Dravid, the fourth-highest run-scorer in Test history, sent to him about playing spin, writing: “Hey @englandcricket, print this and give it to Sibley & Crawley. They can call me to discuss it at length if they want…!”

Earlier, Pietersen had tweeted: “Crawley & Sibley need to go find the email that Dravid sent me about playing spin. Changed my game.”

In the email, which was published in Pietersen’s 2014 autobiography, Dravid wrote: “Against guys who bowled a bit quicker (and I grew up playing against Anil) I would look to go forward without committing or planting the front foot.”

In terms of some practical advice, Dravid suggested that Pietersen could even practice batting against Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar without his pads on, which Panesar confirmed was the case on a tour of Sri Lanka.

“I remember bowling at you in SL during practise and you actually played me better without pads,” wrote Panesar on Twitter. “I remember you saying it makes your feet move quicker and you play with your bat not pad.”

“We practiced a lot, buddy!” replied Pietersen. “We all learnt! That’s why we beat India in India!

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