The Indian bowlers and their think tank have to chalk out a strategy to get rid of the thundering batting duo of Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell in the Test series.
Team England is currently touring India and they will play four Tests besides 2 Twenty20 and 5 One Day Internationals. The important Test series will be fought first and the limited overs games will be followed in the later part of the trip.
Kevin Pietersen has been inducted in the team after he was omitted initially from the original squad. He faced disciplinary action during the home Test series against South Africa. The master batsman was dropped from the third Test which was played at Lord’s, London, from August 16, 2012. He was overlooked from the ICC T20 world cup 2012, held in Sri Lanka but came back to the side after he apologised to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for his critical behaviour.
Pietersen and Ian Bell are the important middle order batsmen of England and both of them have been instrumental in bringing quite a few victories with their performance. Team India visited England in 2011 and played four Test series against the hosts that was lost badly by the visitors 0-4 and in the process they lost the world Test championship crown as well. India was outplayed in every department of the game and the two batsmen butchered the rival bowling.
Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell contributed a historical 350 runs partnership for the third wicket on August 19, 2011, in the first innings of the fourth Test played at Kennington Oval, London. England lost their second wicket at 97 when they joined together at the crease and blasted the ordinary looking Indian bowling. Ian Bell hammered 235 runs whereas Kevin Pietersen thrashed 175 as England declared their innings at 6-591 in 153 overs. The Indian batting was unable to sustain the pressure of the devastating English bowling and Rahul Dravid resisted in the first innings by smashing 146 runs followed by 91 by Sachin Tendulkar in the second. England won the last and final Test with a huge margin of an innings and 8 runs and clinched the series 4-0.
Below, we will highlight the careers of Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell briefly with their achievements against India.
Kevin Peter Pietersen was born on June 27, 1980, in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, a right hand middle order batsman and right arm off break bowler. He is one of the finest batsmen ever produced by England who believes in ruling the bowling once he is at the crease. He can play promptly even against the lethal bowlers at any surface with complete command.
The 32-year-old made his Test debut vs. Australia on July 21, 2005, at Lord’s, London and scored 57 and unbeaten 64 runs in the two innings. He has played 88 Tests, piled up 7076 runs at an excellent average of 49.48, the best of 227 with 21 hundreds and 27 fifties.
Pietersen appeared in 12 Tests against India, 21 innings and blitzed 1243 runs at a superb average of 62.15, the best of unbeaten 202 with 5 centuries and 4 fifties.
Ian Ronald Bell was born on April 11, 1982, in Walsgrave, Coventry, Warwickshire, a right hand top order batsman and an occasional right arm medium fast bowler. He is a true fighter, known as a ‘man of crisis’ and has been transformed into one of the best batsmen in the present day cricket.
The 30-year-old played his first Test against West Indies on August 19, 2004, at Kennington Oval, London, and scored 70 runs in his only outing in the match. He has taken part in 80 Tests and blasted 5527 runs at a fantastic average of 46.83, the best of 235 with 16 hundreds and 34 half centuries.
Ian Bell played 12 Tests, 22 innings and scored 874 runs averaging 41.61, the best of 235 with 2 centuries and 3 fifties.
England has a strong batting line up which includes their skipper, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Nick Compton, Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel. The presence of the commanding pair of Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell will enhance their chances to achieve the best results but a calculated bowling spell from the Indian bowlers especially from the spinners will count a lot during the upcoming Test series.