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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kevin Pietersen's indifference to spin is dangerous : Atherton

Former England captain Mike Atherton has blamed Kevin Pietersen's dangerously indifferent and odd attitude towards spin bowling for his team's debacle in the one-day series against India so far and advised him to urgently change his mentality.

"The England captain's blinkered view has not served his side well in the opening two one-day internationals in India," Atherton said.

"Four months or so into Pietersen's captaincy is time enough to suggest that he does not consider spin to be a legitimate part of the game -- or at least an important part of a winning game plan -- and when you are in the middle of a tour to India, that is a dangerous attitude to hold," he wrote in his column on Thursday.

Atherton, who retired in 2001, said it was a well-known fact that spin played a significant role in the subcontinent.

"The lack of a specialist spinner for the opening two one-day internationals reinforced the impression given by Pietersen that spin occupies a place on the margins of his radar ... spin plays an essential part in any match in India," he said.

Atherton felt Pietersen was yet to understand the nature of Indian pitches and suggested an urgent change in his outlook towards spin might bring success not only in India but across the world.

"When (Steve) Harmison, (Andrew) Flintoff and James Anderson fail to complete their allotted ten overs, as they did in the second one-day international in Indore on Monday, you can be sure that the wrong team were chosen."

"When the captain complains about the nature of the opposition's bowlers... you can be sure that he has yet to understand the peculiar nature of cricket in India," Atherton said.

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