On England Spinners’ Poor Show Against India, Kevin Pietersen’s ‘Big Concern’ Bombshell

Legendary England cricket team batter Kevin Pietersen had a grim warning for Ben Stokes and Co following the end of play on Day 1 of the first Test match against India on Thursday. Yashasvi Jaiswal looked in fine form as he slammed a half-century and India were 119/1 after bowling out England for just 246. Jaiswal looked particularly comfortable against the England spin trio of Tom Hartley, Jack Leach and Rehan Ahmed as he scored a majority of his runs against them. Pietersen said that the spinners are his ‘big concern’ and he does not seem them ‘outbowling’ their Indian counterparts.

“My big concern is England’s spinners. I said it before the series. When we won here in 2012, we had Swann and Panesar, who outbowled Ashwin, Harbhajan and Pragyan Ojha. Unfortunately, from what I have seen here today, I can’t see these three spinners outbowling Indian spinners. I just didn’t see the ball spin enough. A couple of balls, they got to spin,” Kevin Pietersen said while speaking on Sports18.

“But England spinners just never got the border spin. Yes, they weren’t allowed to spin it because Yashasvi Jaiswal was hitting it. But also you only need one ball to spin or two balls to spin. They just couldn’t get into spin. You contrast that with India. First of all, we thought, Oh, here we go. Next ball. Then we get the ball to bounce. Then we get the ball to spin. Then another one bounces. We just didn’t see that with the England spinners,” Pietersen added.

Jaiswal was batting on a 70-ball 76 while Shubman Gill was unbeaten on 14 at the end of the day’s play, as India trailed by 127 runs after losing skipper Rohit Sharma (24).

England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and opted to bat first.

The visitors were off to a decant start with openers Zak Crawley (20) and Ben Duckett (35) adding 55 runs at a fairly good pace before Ravichandran Ashwin gave India their first breakthrough by having Duckett trapped in front of the wicket.

Stokes top-scored with 70 off 88 balls and was the last English wicket to fall, bowled by Jasprit Bumrah (28).

Jonny Bairstow contributed 37 off 58 balls before he was done in by a beautiful delivery from Axar Patel (2/33).

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin bagged three wickets apiece while there were two each for Axar and Bumrah.

(With PTI inputs)

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