Vaughan: KP can recover

Former England skipper urges batsman to get back to basics

By Rachel Griffiths.   Last Updated: 10/03/10 4:32pm

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Pietersen and Vaughan

Pietersen and Vaughan

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Former England captain Michael Vaughan insists Kevin Pietersen must adopt the right mentality if he is to rediscover his top form.

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"For those who have been in it and got out of it, they know it comes right by just hard work and a little bit of luck. You just have to get your basics right."
Michael Vaughan Quotes of the week

Pietersen has been criticised ahead of England's upcoming Test series against Bangladesh, which gets underway on Friday, after making just 69 runs in seven innings on the current tour.

But Vaughan is adamant the flamboyant batsman can pull through the rough patch if he goes back to basics in the Test matches.

New territory

"It's the first time in his career that he's gone through this kind of patch so he's in new territory mentally," said Vaughan.

"For those who have been in it and got out of it, they know it comes right by just hard work and a little bit of luck. You just have to get your basics right.

"The one thing about Kevin, he will attack and that's great, that's the best option for Kevin Pietersen, but you still have to be able to defend against the spinners, particularly in Bangladesh.

"You're still going to have to defend the ball and I think he has to work out a method of making sure he can stay at the crease, first and foremost. No batsman can get runs without being able to stay at the crease for long periods of time.

"He's a wonderfully gifted stroke player but his basics against left-arm spin, that's his real challenge, the mentality of batting against left-arm spin.

"He'll come through it, there's no question, he's too good not to, but it's the first time that he's been tested. But for us to be really successful and a really good team we need KP playing to his maximum, which he was a year or so ago."

Pietersen has come under fire for getting out as a result of extravagant shots, and Vaughan believes this could have altered the South African-born batsman's approach.

Process

"In Twenty20 he has averaged 42 so maybe that's a process which he can look it," added Vaughan.

"Clearly he's just going for it and (in other games) maybe he's thinking too much, his mind is cluttered with 'Should he defend, should he attack,' whereas in Twenty20 he just has to attack.

"In Tests there is that mentality of 'If I get out playing a big shot, what will it look like?' That's when it comes down to just having really good basics.

"He needs a good technical defence to be able to go and attack. You really do have to start at ground level when you're trying to get into form."

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