When is a player really ‘match-fit’?
When this question was asked to former English batsman Kevin Pietersen during an interview to Betway, he said that confidence is the key and it is very closely related to being match fit. KP said that no cricketer is free of injuries and niggles. We have to play with small injuries in this competitive sporting world.
“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,” Pietersen said.
Pietersen who represented England in 275 international matches, admitted that his practice was the reason behind his success in international cricket. He practiced hard in the nets with perfection that gave him lot of confidence for the games.
England’s third leading run-scorer across all three formats said that he just hate in participating in warm-matches. Practice sessions were more important and vital to add match fitness for him than playing a practice game which many cricketers don’t take seriously.
“I didn’t need to feel that match scenario. I hated practise games, I hated trial games, I hated all that. 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.”
Kevin Pietersen also highlighted that he always asks few questions to himself before going to play a series or match. How he can adapt himself in the conditions and climate. He en-lighted that it is not easy for players to go any part of the world and perform the way he used to do at one place. Apart from pitches, conditions and opposition, climate matters too.
“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?”
“The nature of the cricket schedule means that players regularly have to adapt to new conditions in different parts of the world – not just in terms of pitches, but also climate,” he quoted.
So as per Kevin Pietersen, confidence plays major role for a player to do well on the field. He helps a lot in defining the match fitness for a player.