‘When You are Sloppy Like That…’: Kevin Pietersen Scathing in His Criticism of Shreyas Iyer

Last Updated: February 02, 2024, 19:57 IST

IND vs ENG: Shreyas Iyer made 27 off 59 balls (AP)

IND vs ENG: Shreyas Iyer made 27 off 59 balls (AP)

Kevin Pietersen was scathing in his assessment of India batter Shreyas Iyer’s knock of 27.

Shreyas Iyer got a start as he made 27 from off 59 balls before getting out on the first day of the second Test of the five-match series at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Friday, prompting scathing criticism from former England batter Kevin Pietersen.

Iyer looked solid at the crease before under-edging a cut shot to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes off left-arm spinner Tom Hartley in the 51st over.

It was an odd innings from Iyer, where he was constantly shuffling around his crease, including when facing the spinners.

“Listen, when (Virat) Kohli comes back and other guys come back (KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja) and these are the days these boys are going to look back and go, ‘Oh why did I not get a hundred? I had the opportunity to get the hundred’,” Kevin Pietersen said on JioCinema.

“And when you are sloppy like that, getting out doesn’t impress me at all. You got to really grab the game by the scruff of its neck and say I am not letting go here. I am afraid to say with Shreyas it all seems a bit too sloppy. Sloppy is the word,” Pietersen added.

ALSO READ | IND vs ENG: Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 179 Puts Him in Same Lists as Virender Sehwag and Sunil Gavaskar

Pietersen was also left irked by Iyer shuffling outside leg before coming to his original position while playing against spinners. “When he is facing up to the bowler, he is jogging his leg out to leg side and then comes back to just defend the ball. You go to show some more intent than leg out there.”

“If you really want to have a go and put pressure on the bowler, this (gestures the leg-side shuffling movement) doesn’t put the pressure on the bowler. It does nothing to the bowler. You got to show more intent.”

Pietersen further questioned Iyer’s approach by saying, “On this wicket, why are you doing that? That’s my question: what’s the point of doing that? What you are doing is you are messing yourself up, losing where your stumps are as a batter. I am more comfortable if you are coming towards the bowler, this here does nothing for me.”

“He has the ability to play some very good shots. But the soft dismissals are horrible. In this form of cricket, you have to be hungry and have desire. And when you get out in the way he got out, I am afraid to say it’s sloppy. Today’s innings didn’t impress me at all. Because I want people in my dressing room that are more hungry than that.”

It was a day when barring Yashasvi Jaiswal’s unbeaten career-best score of 179, India’s batters fell after getting starts. Skipper Rohit Sharma edged a turning ball from debutant Shoaib Bashir to backward square-leg while trying to glance, something which left Pietersen upset.

“It doesn’t matter who you get out to, you can get out to anybody. I think he’d be kicking himself because there were plenty of runs to be had here. On this wicket, against a very young and inexperienced bowling attack, he will be looking at his dismissal and thinking, ‘How on earth did I get myself out here?’”

“That (the dismissal) was quite lazy. Yes, it is instinctive to knock the ball towards the leg side. But there was no urgency in what led to the dismissal. There was no urgency to try and get off the strike. These guys are expansive from ball one in T20 cricket, they play so beautifully. We have not seen huge spin, massive bounce, or anything that should pose any fear in the batter’s mind,” he concluded.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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