On Day 4 of the current, postponed fifth Test match between India and England at Edgbaston in Birmingham, former England captain Kevin Pietersen expressed his displeasure with the tactics used by Indian skipper Jasprit Bumrah. England quickly reached 259 for 3 at stumps on Monday while chasing a record 378 for a win that would save the series, thanks to three impressive half-centuries from Alex Lees, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow. Bumrah, who was captaining India for the first time as Rohit Sharma was out with COVID-19, was unable to slow down England’s strong scoring pace of 4.54 runs per over.

After the fourth day of play, Pietersen said to Sky Sports, “I don’t believe Bumrah got his tactics right today at all, and I say that with the greatest amount of respect.” The former aggressive batsman also brought up India’s field placement issues during the previous session when the ball was flipping.

“He should not make it that simple for the hitter when the ball is swinging in reverse since the batter is working so hard to determine which direction the ball is swinging.” “The best spot to bat is at the non-striker’s end when it is reverse swinging at 90 mph; but, with the ease with which they were able to reach the non-striker’s end this afternoon,” he added.

For the whole of England’s second innings, India bowled with an in-and-out field with protection in the deep, something Pietersen did not like. “They had long-off and lengthy on, which was insane. That was complete insanity for thirty minutes. Pull them in right away and tell them, “Jonny, if you’re good enough to knock me over the head, please do it,” even for the last 15 to 20 minutes of the play for the day, “says he.

After a century-plus opening stand, India did make a strong return with three fast wickets, but Bairstow (72*) and Root (76*) ended the visitors’ chances of winning with another counter-attacking century-plus partnership for the fourth wicket. Unless India does something spectacular in the first hour of Day 5, England is only 119 runs away from breaking the record run chase.

For England’s sake, Pietersen answered, “sure, let them spread them as far as they want.” He hoped they wouldn’t do it the next morning.