“I didn’t need to feel that match scenario. I hated practise games, I hated trial games, I hated all that,” Pietersen said.
“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,” added the former middle-order bat, who was appointed as the ‘Global Cricket Ambassador’ for 2019 by online bookmaker Betway.
One of England’s 2005 Ashes heroes, Pietersen termed intense practise as one of the key reasons behind his match fitness. “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,” KP went on to add.
“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,” he further said.
Pietersen, who has also been a popular figure in numerous T20 leagues across the globe, stated that adapting to different conditions in different parts of the world is equally important. And this goes beyond pitches.
“It goes without saying that acclimatising to conditions is a big factor. If you’re going to play in different conditions, particularly when it’s hotter in the subcontinent, you need to give yourself enough time toadapt and perform at peak levels,” he explained.
“That makes it even more difficult for the guys coming back from injury to hit their targets, but that’s why their baselines before injury are so important. If they’re trying to rush themselves, I can show them how far off the mark they are.
“You get some guys who are so passionate. They feel that if they’re not playing then they’re letting the team down,” the cricketer-turned-analyst further added.