Kevin Pietersen on Tom Banton: “He has all the talent but at the moment he is wasting it. He hits way too many balls in the air. He needs to learn to hit the ball along the ground, learn to hit extra-cover hard , mid-wicket hard. Know there are gaps between fielders”
Last Updated: 11/08/21 10:38pm
Kevin Pietersen has urged Tom Banton not to “waste his talent” and learn from the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma on how to construct a white-ball innings at the top of the order.
Banton has reached 30 just twice in seven innings opening the batting for Welsh Fire in The Hundred and former England star Pietersen feels he is trying to score too many sixes.
Speaking in his role as a Sky Sports pundit after seeing Banton caught in the deep for 36 from 20 balls against Southern Brave on Wednesday night, Pietersen said: “He needs to rework the way he goes about his batting. There is a big psychological change that needs to happen there.
“He has all the talent but at the moment he is wasting it. He hits way too many balls in the air. He needs to learn to hit the ball along the ground, learn to hit extra-cover hard, mid-wicket hard.
“You have to look at the best players around the world. How often do they think, ‘let me just hit it in the air, my release shot is a six’?
“Virat Kohli, David Warner – look at all the players starring at the top of the innings. They hit extra-cover on the ground for four. How often do you see Kohli hitting sixes all over at the start of his innings?
“Chris Gayle is a monster, has a bat that is as heavy as us and bombs it everywhere, so let’s park him.
“Banton needs to learn from the others and keep the ball on the ground, know there are gaps between fielders. [Going for sixes] is not the gaps he needs to go at.”
Pietersen cited Brave captain James Vince – who struck 53 from 39 balls against Banton’s Fire side – and Indian superstar Rohit Sharma as other examples for Banton to follow.
“Vince didn’t carry on like ‘it’s a parade to see how many spectators we can clean out’,” Pietersen added after Brave’s crunching win over Fire, which condemned the Welsh team to a fifth straight defeat and ended their hopes of making the play-offs.
“If the ball is there, you absolutely have the right to hit it. However, you have to earn that right.
“Vince earned that right with some of the defensive shots he played, some of the gaps he hits. He cuts the ball beautifully, pulls the ball along the ground, finds the gaps.
“That is how you build an innings. You don’t have respect if you just think you can bomb everyone.
“Rohit Sharma, for India or the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, is so calculated in the way he goes about his business.
“He can check drive, is immaculate with his pull shot and hits gaps like no one else in the world. He clips it through mid-wicket, bunts it down the ground. That’s where’s consistency comes.
“It’s about how you want to remembered as a player. Do you want to be remembered as a player that slogs a few and gets out for 20 or 30?
“Banton needs to ask himself what sort of player he wants to be. He is better than this.”
Watch The Hundred live on Sky Sports between now and August 21.