Sub-continent teams will benefit from warm English summer, says Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen said that a hot summer, dry wickets may pose tough questions for the host in the ICC World Cup.

Kevin Pietersen confidence in England's batting to handle the tough conditions.   -  EMMANUAL YOGINI

As teams gear up for the World Cup, which begins in England from May 30, former England batsman, Kevin Pietersen, believes that if last year’s summer repeats itself, the teams from the sub-continent will have an advantage in the tournament.

“Last summer was one of the (most) beautiful summers since 1976. It was one of the hottest reported in the UK and there was hardly any rain and the conditions were extremely dry,” Pietersen said during a panel discussion on Thursday.

Pietersen admitted that the conditions have changed immensely in England.

“When I started playing for England in 2004, we did not have the sub-air system underneath the grounds to take out the moisture. So, before the sub-air system came in, if there was a huge rain-storm the day was washed out. But it has changed as all the grounds have brought in sub-air system,” he said.

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“Lord’s started it and it went to other Test grounds to maximise the amount of playing time. If a storm came through, the sub-air system obviously dragged the moisture.”

However, it has had an impact on the wickets. “We started a Test match against India and on Day One it was an absolute green surface, but by the end of Day Two it was completely dry. We did not have any rain on the day but the moisture that was keeping the system dry was completely deflating any grass on the wicket. I think the sub-continent teams will have a massive role to play in the World Cup if we have a repeat of last year’s summer,” Pietersen said.

However, he sounded a bit concerned for the home team. “The one downside for England is that if they have the license to go after the bowling from ball No. 1, then in those conditions --- swing and seam --- they will find it difficult. We have seen that happen recently in the West Indies (in Barbados), when the wicket was doing a bit. Although England has a formidable batting, they can get undone,” Pietersen stated.