He may have missed out on the World T20, but with the IPL round the corner, Kevin Pietersen is set to return to where he belongs, in the spotlight. And when KP takes centrestage, there can never be a dull moment, regardless of whether he’s wielding a bat or not.
Renowned for his exceptional strokeplay, the enigmatic England right-hander has torn apart many an opposition bowling attack over the last decade or so. And over the next two months, Pietersen can be relied upon to light up cricket grounds and television screens around the country in his inimitable style, dishing out exquisite drives and audacious switch-hits while donning Delhi Daredevils colours.
With the Daredevils having moved on from homegrown stars Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, it was no major surprise when they flashed their right-to-match card during the auction in February to buy Pietersen for Rs 9 crore. They didn’t waste much time after his retention to name him their skipper for the seventh edition of the IPL. Pietersen will lead a new-look Daredevils outfit that includes a number of contemporary Indian and foreign stars — from Murali Vijay and Mohammad Shami to Ross Taylor and JP Duminy.
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And with KP at the helm, last season’s wooden spooners will be optimistic of turning around their fortunes in IPL7. Pietersen will also team up with new coach Gary Kirsten, who was in charge of the Indian ODI team when they lifted the World Cup in 2011.
On Tuesday, a select audience in the capital will interact with Pietersen at the latest edition of Express Adda, the first foreign cricketer to grace the event.
Pietersen will be in conversation with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta. The 33-year-old will talk about what makes him click as a match-winner across all formats, and his plans for the Daredevils this season.