'I love watching Sehwag and Gayle bat'
Himself a game changer who pioneered the controversial switch-hit, England batsman Kevin Pietersen feels destructive Indian opener Virender Sehwag and West Indian Chris Gayle are the other two batsmen capable of turning a match on its head.
"There are a few players I admire as game changers today. Virender Sehwag is one of them, he opens the batting and you know as an opposing player that within 10-15 overs of a test match or 10-15 overs of a one day international, the man can change the game," Pietersen said.
"Another game changer is Chris Gayle from the Caribbean, who does a similar job as Sehwag. These are the two guys I love watching and love playing against," he added.
Image: Virender Sehwag
'It's important to surprise the opposition'
The flamboyant 30-year-old, whose switch-hit gets him as much applause as criticism, said he always tries to innovate so as to make the sport interesting for the fans.
"Change the Game to me means constantly trying to bring something new and something fresh to what you do. In the current highly competitive scenario, it's really important to surprise the opposition with unexpected actions and to change the face of the game by pushing the boundaries," Pietersen said.
"Cricket is a sport that has evolved so much and being a part of that evolution... bringing something new when we play... keeps the fun alive, not only for us but for the fans as well," he added.
Pietersen said that he practices the switch hit for long hours at the nets.
"I spend hours and hours in the nets, practicing the Switch Hit, trying to perfect it. I have perfected it a couple of times in the game situations. But yes, it's something new, something fresh, it's a game changing shot," he said.
Image: Kevin Pietersen
KP used the switch hit first time against Kiwis
Recalling the first time he used the shot, Pietersen said, "...we were playing against New Zealand a couple of years ago; Scott Styris was bowling off-cutters at me with a packed leg-side field, the only way to hit a boundary being the orthodox way. I could either play straight or take a risk by hitting over the fielders.
"I decided to apply all the practice and the preparation that I had done for the switch-hit. I knew that if I will hit it, it will land in a safe area and if I miss hit, I will probably be outside the line of off-stump.
"It went on well the first time. The next time I switched, Styris was clever and bowled a slow delivery. This time it came out as a better shot as I had time to hold my stance and power the ball away," he said.
Image: Kevin Pietersen