Fit Pietersen set to take field against Hyderabad
The under-par Delhi Daredevils have some good news. Their injured skipper, Kevin Pietersen, likely to be fit in time for the team's next IPL match in Dubai.
"I don't know if they are missing me. This is a long tournament; we've played three matches and won one... As for me, I'm going to hopefully be back for the next game," Pietersen told the IPL's official website.
The Englishman, who is recovering from a finger injury, missed the team's first three matches.
"I have trained a couple of days, but it hasn't been an ideal start going into this tournament. I had good practice for a couple of weeks in London, but then hurt myself and have had three weeks off," the attacking batsman said.
Delhi take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their next match on April 25.
They lost to Chennai Super Kings by 93 runs in a lopsided game on Monday.
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Image: Kevin Pietersen
'It's DK who takes it all out there and runs the show as he seems fit for the team'
Even though he hasn't been able to play, Pietersen said he tried to keep the team motivated in the dugout.
"It's imperative for me to play a significant role as a senior figure in the dressing room. You need to reach out to the players and help them out. Yes, I have handed the reigns of the team to DK (Dinesh Karthik) but I've also got to help him.
"We're all a part of the senior group in the squad and the onus is on us to look after each other. The young guys need guidance from us and we too need to know how they want to go about things," he said.
Asked if he was playing a role in the on-field decision-making as well, Pietersen replied, "Not really, that's all DK. We can only talk about what might happen out there and put some ideas forward. When the team crosses the rope, it's DK who takes it all out there and runs the show as he seems fit for the team."
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Image: Dinesh Karthik
'Kirsten has a calming influence on the team'
Pietersen also spoke about his experience of working under coach Gary Kirsten.
"Gary is people's person. He's fantastic to be around. He's one of those guys with whom you want to hang around; he's infectious. He's got such a calming influence, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, you get the same positive vibes from him.
"I think that's really important for the players and especially for the youngsters. You don't want a coach who gets jittery and goes up, down and all over the place," said the batsman.
On his expectations from the team, Pietersen said he wants the players to play their best without being under pressure.
"I want all the guys in the team to know that there is no pressure. I want all the players to relax and play to the best of their ability. Another important thing for me as a leader is that the guys train well. According to me, the training should be so thorough and intense that the game-day becomes easier," he said.
"If you prepare well, you cannot ask for anything more off yourself; there will be no pressure. If you go into the game knowing that you've done all the correct things off the field, who are we to complain about what happens on the field?" he added.
Image: Gary Kirsten
Photographs: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images/Getty Images