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Michael Clarke skipper of KP XI

Dhoni behind the stumps, Gayle, Warner are openers, Anderson only English in the list.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 10, 2014 12:54:45 pm
Kevin Pietersen was effusive in his praise for Clarke's captaincy. (IE Photo) Kevin Pietersen was effusive in his praise for Clarke’s captaincy. (IE Photo)

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen said that current Australian skipper, Michael Clarke, would be his choice to captain his World XI for Tests. Interestingly, Pietersen also picked India’s captain, MS Dhoni, in his side but said that he preferred Clarke donning the role of the captain. Pietersen was speaking at the Express Adda in Delhi on Tuesday night.

Pieteresen singled out the 33-year-old Clarke, for his ability to handle pressure. “He has managed the pressure really well. He struggled in the last Ashes against us but I played against Michael recently and his captaincy was fantastic,” he said.

The English team, of which Pietersen was an integral component, lost the Ashes 5-0 and the 33-year-old batsmen was effusive in his praise for the Australian skipper.

“Just the positioning (of the fields), the way he used the bowlers, he was fantastic. They also went to South Africa and beat them there. And the way he captained, it was brilliant,” Pietersen said.

Attacking combination

Pietersen picked West Indian destroyer, Chris Gayle, along with Australian southpaw, David Warner, as his two openers in the team. The English batsmen believed that the brand of aggressive and entertaining cricket put out by the two openers, led him to include them in his side. The South African-born former England captain, also included Hashim Amla, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Virat Kohli, Mitchell Johnson, Dale Steyn, Saeed Ajmal and James Anderson in his line-up.

‘Star’ Kohli

However, it was his choice of captain, that drew the most attention. Over the past three seasons, Pietersen has been part of eight Test matches against India who were led by MS Dhoni, winning six and losing just once. Against Australia and Clarke, Pietersen has been part of 10 Tests in the span of a year, with a 50 percent success record. Interestingly, no English batsmen finds a place in Pietersen’s World XI with pacer James Anderson, the only British representative.

Pietersen also had generous praise for Virat Kohli, saying he was a ‘star’. Pietersen spent two years as Kohli’s teammate at Royal Challengers Bangalore, briefly captaining the Indian batsmen during the second season. “Virat’s a star. At the moment, the way he is playing fast bowling and spin, only he can get himself out,” he said. Pietersen termed Kohli as ‘inquisitive’ and a kind of player that you want in your team. “I forged a real good relationship when I was at Bangalore. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He trains bloody hard and enjoys his success,” he said.

IPL will require a lot more intensity: Kirsten

New Delhi: There has been a lot of talk about whether the decision of not retaining Virender Sehwag was justified, but Delhi Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten feels that irrespective how it pans out, that was the only way forward. “At the auction we made a decision to select a new squad and not retain anyone from last year. Don’t know whether it’s a right decision or not but that’s what we have gone for,”Kirsten said.

On the first day of Daredevils’ practise,Kirsten said that coaching in the IPL would be completely different from what he had done with the Indian team in the past. “IPL requires a lot more intensity. It’s a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to it. It’s good to be back in India personally. I always knew that I was going to come back sometime,” said the coach.

Kirsten also dismissed suggestions that having Kevin Pietersen as captain would be detrimental to the Daredevils side, considering his unsavoury history with the England team. “The feedback that I got from that management is that he has been an outstanding player and contributor to the team,” said Kirsten.

(Press Trust of India)

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