Kevin Pietersen Goes Both Ways

Nothing about Kevin Pietersen is straightforward: of South African origin, he has become England’s best player (and, before Monty showed up, its much better off-spinner). When he first arrived on the scene, he oozed attack and aggression, which some commentators ascribed to a lack of “post-colonial guilt.” And even now, in his current mellowed, more “mature” phase, he still has the penchant to excite (Celeste or otherwise).

Take the rule-bending, switch-hitting reverse sweep (see below). The shot raised some hackles, even after declared legal. As Michael Holding pointed out, if that was legal, surely bowlers should be allowed to come around or over the wicket as they please, without prior announcement. (Holding, of course, doesn’t understand that cricket is a batsman’s game, after all.)

It turns out, however, that Pietersen has long been enamored of the extreme reverse-sweep (if not the switch-hit). Take a look at this shot off Murali:

And, of course, this one against, I think, the West Indies:

The inspiration apparently came from Paul Nixon, who perfected the shot during his brief career as wicketkeeper. Have a final look at the aged innovator:

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5 thoughts on “Kevin Pietersen Goes Both Ways

  1. True – he isn’t the first to try it but its great for the game and for once the MCC have made the right decision. Its up to bowlers to adapt – as he has to move early they ought to have time to change the intended delivery if they can think quickly enough that is!

  2. Isaac says:

    The reverse sweep has now been cleared and Pietersen will be able to play it. It’s been an interesting issue to blog on.

  3. vyom says:

    well i think that the reverse sweep and for a six is just a special shot, which not many can perfect. It really amazes me how well Pietersen is playing this shot. He is an outstanding talent. I can understand Micheal Holding’s comments as the bowlers can only watch and admire such unique shots.

  4. Aadil Aijaz says:

    there’s no doubt that Kevin is one of the finest batsmen in the world of cricket.


  5. ankit says:


    I’ve blog rolled your site, and at the same time shall refer my readers to your posts, when there is anything i want them to read here.

    Would you be interested in doing the same.

    The address is


    coming back to the post, well, KP’s sweep should be called the switch sweep, as it is really different from the traditional reverse sweep, and i agree with the prevelant sentiment here, the MCC made the right decision and the shots were a treat to watch

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