Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen and India batting legend Rahul Dravid were team-mates for the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and the Englishman in his recently launched autobiography 'KP', revealed that he sought Dravid's help on how to play spin and also termed the veteran as the 'genuine guru'.
Pietersen, who has had an estranged relationship with his England team-mates and coaches, refers to an e-mail Dravid wrote to him about playing spinners, which - according to Pietersen - made a massive difference to his batting.
In May-June 2010, during Bangladesh's tour to England, Pietersen was twice dismissed by Shakib-Al-Hasan. The South African-born batsman's struggle exposed his weakness against left-arm spinners. "Rahul was a great and heroic Indian batsman in his day. He is also a genius at dealing with spin bowlers. Our conversations and emails were a private masterclass from a genuine guru," Pietersen wrote in the book.
"Rahul improved my cricket and helped me develop the way I think about the game. His generosity will stay with me always," he said.
In the e-mail quoted by Pietersen, Dravid refers to him as a "champ" and goes on to give him a pep talk: "KP, you are a really good player, you need to watch the ball and trust yourself... Don't let anyone tell you that you can't play spin; I have seen you, and you can!"
Pietersen wrote that he often reads this particular e-mail, which beings a smile to his face.
"My playing of spin has gone up a number of levels since I've spent time in the IPL, and in particular, since I've spoken to Rahul Dravid...In England, batsmen get taught to play with the spin. In India, the best players of spin get taught to play against it," he adds.
In the letter, Dravid tells Pietersen to practice without pads against spin in the nets, so that he uses his bat more.
The entire letter can be found in the following tweet
Rahul Dravid's email to @KP24 on how to play spin. #Priceless pic.twitter.com/fs1JtiE3Y6— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) October 22, 2014
Rahul Dravid's email to @KP24 on how to play spin. #Priceless pic.twitter.com/fs1JtiE3Y6
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) October 22, 2014