At the latest edition of Express Adda, presented by Yes Bank in association with India Infoline Finance Limited (IIFL), held at Olive Beach, New Delhi last week, Delhi Daredevils captain and the prolific England batsman Kevin Pietersen showed why he is rated as one of the most captivating international cricketers.
During a conversation with a select audience, moderated by Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, The Express Group and Sandeep Dwivedi, National Sports Editor, Pietersen recalled some of his gritty Test knocks in grim situations and looked forward to the fresh challenge of changing the fortunes of Delhi, last year’s bottom-placed IPL team. Excerpts from an enriching Adda with a cricketer who calls pressure a privilege.
Sandeep Dwivedi: Kevin, welcome here. I will start with you coming to Delhi. I think with Delhi you had the most runs when you were playing IPL in 2012. Is it coming back home? Is it working with familiar people? How’s the team this time? How do you see the season ahead
Kevin Pietersen: It (Delhi) is probably my second home in terms of travel because I do come to Delhi a hell of a lot. I really enjoy Delhi. I built such good relationships in 2012 and we had such good time, both on the field and off the field, that I feel indebted to Delhi to contribute as much as possible. I enjoy helping the youngsters. I think as a senior player you’ve got to pass on the knowledge that you’ve acquired over the years. I like Delhi as a city, probably my favourite city.
It’s just a good good place to come. It’s not as crazy as the rest of India in terms of the traffic and the madness. I mean, occasionally when you drive to an 8 o clock game at 6 o clock the traffic is real bad, but generally it’s pretty good. It has some wonderful restaurants, the hotels. We get looked after really well here. The people are fantastic. The hospitality in India, not just in Delhi, is something that every international cricketer loves. So when you get the opportunity to come here and travel here, it’s something we thoroughly enjoy.
Beside, this year is a blend of youth and experience. I think the gentlemen who went to the auction have done a fantastic job in acquiring some really solid Indian players. I like how we used the retention of keeping some uncapped players. And, I think the key to success in the IPL is clearly, I mean if you can have five or six or seven superstars in your side then great, but if you can’t, you got to have young Indians and Indians who want to achieve continued…