Melbourne: England batsman Kevin Pietersen`s inability to handle left-arm spin bowling with confidence has strengthened Xavier Doherty`s chances of playing in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Australia A`s left-arm spinner Steve O`Keefe troubled Pietersen in a tour match at the Bellerive Oval, reminding the talented batsman of his one real weakness.
Critics say that Pietersen`s giant ego is his Achilles heel, but statistics prove that it`s the left-arm spinners of the world that have troubled Pietersen the most.
Left-arm orthodox spin bowlers have dismissed Pietersen 17 times in his 66-Test career. They have also taken his wicket in 15 one-day internationals and six times in 28 Twenty20 matches for England.
England supporters are aware Pietersen`s weakness, which came into focus in March this year when the left-arm orthodox spinning duo of Abdul Razzaq and Shakib Al Hasan continuously had Pietersen unstuck during England`s tour of Bangladesh.
Pietersen was dismissed six times in five international matches on tour, with Razzaq and Al Hasan responsible for all six of them.
Pietersen`s vulnerability to left-arm spin in Bangladesh wasn`t isolated to the international arena, with part-timer Mehrab Hossain Jnr dismissing him in a tour match for just two runs.
Yuvraj, who has a Test bowling average of 53.87, has dismissed Pietersen five times at the international level and was one of the first bowlers to highlight Pietersen`s weakness against left-arm spin.
After dismissing him thrice in a one-day series in 2006, Yuvraj twice repeated the dose early in England`s tour of India two years later.
Such was Yuvraj`s dominance of England`s No.1 batsman that he would be thrown the ball everytime Pietersen walked in to bat.