• How and why KP did match fitness the right way

    A look through the long, prolific professional cricketing career of Kevin Pietersen shows that he played for several teams and franchises.

    From the Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League to the St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League and Quetta Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League, Pietersen trotted the globe for various T20 franchises.

    He also played for the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League and Rising Pune Supergiants and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.

    Each came with their own training regimes, of course, including practice matches. Pietersen was never really a fan of these, but naturally respected each coach and captain’s approach to match preparation.

    “I didn’t need to feel that match scenario. “I hated practise games, I hated trial games, I hated all that,” he told Betway.

    “I think if you calculated my average from all of the warm-up games that we played it would be terrible. I didn’t want to play in them, I had no interest in them, because they never made me feel like I felt when I practised.”

    Confidence personified

    For Pietersen personally, he preferred processes that spoke to his cricketing characteristics and what made him the most prepared to bash the ball to all corners of the Wankhede Stadium, Feroz Shah Kotla, Sydney Cricket Ground, Queen’s Park Oval and more.

    “Confidence is closely related to being match fit. No player is free of niggles or little injuries, but I never ever went into an England match without being confident that I had put in the perfect preparation for it. Perfection in my practise was the reason for my consistent performances,” he added.

    “I was always asking myself a series of questions: How do I feel in training? Have I got the ability to defend the best ball that a bowler could run into bowl at me when I walk out into middle? Or have I not? If so, where do I need to focus my attention?

    “I needed to know every single day that I played that I had done the most meticulous preparation so that when I crossed that white line I could execute the skill. I think I was one of a small group of people who thought about it like that.”

    His ways and means counted for plenty in the eyes of those who looked up to Pietersen. He ended up captaining the Daredevils and Bangalore in the IPL and, of course, was the Test skipper of England for a while.

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