IPL 2013 news

Daredevils coming to terms with Pietersen's loss

Nagraj Gollapudi

March 21, 2013

Comments: 35 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen brings out the switch hit, Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians, IPL, Delhi, April 27, 2012
Kevin Pietersen's loss is a big one for the Delhi Daredevils franchise © AFP

Kevin Pietersen's absence from the entire IPL 2013 season is a big loss for Delhi Daredevils, and not just on the field. Pietersen's contract with the Daredevils indicated he would have played 11 of their 16 league matches before leaving for the home series against New Zealand.

"It is very difficult for any team to replace a player of that stature," TA Sekar, the Daredevils' team director TA Sekar, said. "He was encouraging the youngsters, taking a lot of initiatives, talking in team meetings, and was a positive influence. He had a good rapport with Viru and gelled well easily into the team."

Last year, the Daredevils had come close to making the IPL finals in 2012, but lost in a close match in the second qualification game (play-off) against eventual runners-up Chennai Super Kings. Daredevils had topped the points table at the end of the league phase and Pietersen had played a key role in their progress in the eight matches he played - Pietersen scored 305 runs including a century (a victorious 103 against Deccan Chargers), the third-best figures for his team in terms of runs behind his captain Virender Sehwag and narrowly behind the Mahela Jayawardene.

Pietersen's popularity in the IPL is a contrast to his standing in England which plummeted following his stand-off with the ECB and a section of the England team last year. In England, Pietersen continues to be an outsider despite playing for the country, but in India he has been embraced much more easily, perhaps because the Indian fans love a character who performs.

Despite having spent just three weeks with Daredevils last year, Pietersen managed to quickly become a heartthrob. "It was very early in the competition. KP got a hundred and Delhi won the match. And after that every time Pietersen would walk in the whole stadium would chant "KP, KP". I have not seen this happen except with Sachin [Tendulkar] and some of the other big India players like Viru. I certainly can't remember a foreign player getting that kind of response from Indian crowd. He was genuinely loved by the fans, I felt," Amrit Mathur, the former Daredevils' CEO and currently one of the advisors with the franchise, said.

Well groomed and a natural entertainer, Pietersen, Mathur said, was a "hit" with the corporates, too. "The sponsors would want him at promotions or any such event. He speaks well, he is polite, he is very good with corporate heads. So he is exactly what a commercial franchise-based entity requires: somebody who is hot on the field and equally good off the field."

Star power, charisma, mass appeal make the 6'4" Pietersen stand out in the IPL crowd. Among overseas players, Pietersen is up there with Shane Warne as a global brand and is in the top bracket of most expensive players. "He is undeniably a star. A lot of it flows from the way he performs and conducts himself on the field. He is a match-winner. People like Shane Warne and KP are standout performers," Mathur said.

Six matches away from finishing 100 Tests, 32 years old, a father, Pietersen might be a veteran in the cricket business to many, but he continues to display the verve and burning desire of a youth driven to make an impact. He has been in the IPL from the first edition in 2008, but managed just 329 runs in the three years he was with Royal Challengers Bangalore. In 2011, he was bought by the now defunct Deccan Chargers, but injury prevented him from playing that season. In 2012 he was traded to the Daredevils.

Even before the knee injury, the Daredevils management had put in place replacement plans for Pietersen by buying New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder and South Africa allrounder Johan Botha, Sekar conceded they can only be expected to do "60 to 70% of the job Pietersen did". It is hard to find a man-to-man replacement. "KP is very big in international cricket. He can intimidate the opponents in a big way. Psychologically he makes an impact," Sekar said.

According to Mathur, Pietersen remains the right kind of advert for the IPL. "KP is a star not just as a player and performer but also as a personality and a person. He is a great with fans. People come to watch him. He is a confident, extroverted player. The sponsors love him. He is an absolute asset. He is the right package for the IPL."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 158notout on (March 24, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

So funny that on cricinfo there is an article about how Delhi will miss KP. What about England missing him? Or is IPL more newsworthy than International Test cricket these days?

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 21:49 GMT)

There's mistake in this article. KP did not play first edition of IPL in 2008. He joined in from 2009, which was second edition.

Posted by player2942 on (March 22, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

Kevin was star performer for DD in the previous IPL season. His absence will certainly ahve an affect on the teams balance in the batting since they have too many openers rather than a fine middle order batsman. With Ross taylor being traded for Nehra its gonna be more tougher for the team if they don't find a competitive replacement for KP. Also Mahela's attendance for this season is ambiguous. With Sehwag not in good form, this season will be tougher for DD

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

Bad luck for DD. They will nt see him in tht jersey becoz new team will be bought by them again after this season

Posted by aditya.continous on (March 22, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

my replacement for kp wud be george bailey...he's played really well in these sub continent conditions before and cud be a good addition...but delhi can wait for a while before naming replacement...if their current batting is able to do the job and with morkel still injured bowling suffers, then they cud rope in philander...some thinking to do for delhi management...

Posted by satishchandar on (March 22, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

What this loss makes is, a explosive batting studded line up without its crown. Though KP did great thing only for some gaems last time, the impact was great.. Especially when the big guns in Mahela and Morkel nursing injuries. Ross and Viru are mentally down after some issues within the national team.. They are not in top form yet.. I guess they will pick Russel and Jeevan both if Mahela looks bleak.. Warner and Irfan need to step up even more to make up for the big guns loss..

Posted by baghels.a on (March 22, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

@Steve Luckhurst , just like IPL means nothing to you guys, similarly Ashes does not mean any thing to us Indians, but English premier league does mean a lot to us and the new season starts in mid August and everybody in UK will be watching the new season of premiership which starts in mid August, for your sake i hope your beloved Ashes is wrapped by mid August,unlike your country we make cricketers feel like stars not some poor cousin of footballers !!! just tell me how many people in your country know who Alistair Cook is but will know every little detail about Wayne Rooney,My mates from football chukle that cricket is a minority sport as it is and still you blokes bicker and are divided on so many issues .... a point to ponder

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

Delhi Daredevils should give chance to Gulam Bodi as opener with either sehwag/warner. he was brilliant in champions league.he should not be wasted.

Posted by alokpatro84 on (March 22, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

No Need For Any Replacement. They Already Have So Many Talents Warming The Benches Most Of The Times. My Pick For The Opening Match Will Be. 1) David Warner* 2) Virender Sehwag 3) Mahela Jaywardene* 4) Jesse Ryder* 5) Yohan Botha* 6) Kedar Jadhav 7) Naman Ojha 8) Pawan Negi 9) Irfan Pathan 10) Umesh Yadav 11) Aasish Nehra

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

because of him they traded taylor to nehra

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

Big blow for Delhi Daredevils. Delhi were looking good last season but they experimented too much at the wrong stage. Hope this time they have a good tactic

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

but lost in a close match in the second qualification game ??? That wasn't even close.. CSK won it pretty easily

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

Mahela captained DD last year and not Viru if I remember correctly.

Posted by Damian123 on (March 22, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

@Josh Maddy. Excellent suggestion! We should stop all cricket in all parts of the world for 6 months and only allow IPL & Champions League during that time. Way to go mate. You should be made the Chairman of ICC!

Posted by foursandsixes on (March 22, 2013, 2:30 GMT)

@Lmaotsetung England would have probably lost the India series had it not been for KP. He is a true match winner with ability to single handedly turn a bad situation around. I think England fans should be grateful he is around and will come back for the Ashes, although with this current Oz team, he is not required in the team to win.

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 1:22 GMT)

Who cares whether he plays in IPL or not. He should rather be fully fit for the Ashes.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (March 21, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

After watching BPL Elton Chugumbura would make perfect replacement for sure, he was easily the best batsman of the tournament an his clean hitting all around the ground would be great to see in the IPL.

Posted by landl47 on (March 21, 2013, 22:29 GMT)

Cricket fans all over the world will be mourning Delhi's loss of KP. Well, not so much cricket fans, but people who think IPL T20 is cricket. And not so much all over the world as all over India, or rather, just people in Delhi.

So hardly any cricket fans care, really.

Posted by Gagg on (March 21, 2013, 22:21 GMT)

Josh Maddy I hope you are being sarcastic! Anyway good to see KP get his priorities right and played the much more important NZ test series over some India domestic competition, you want to talk about what is hurting cricket?

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 22:06 GMT)

Lmaotsetung what a miserable old bean you are! Why don't you just chill out and watch the cricket!

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 21, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

KP always play well for england. Especially when he is challenged. England should respect him more. England management kinda idiots who do not know the value of KP. Without KP inning in mumbai , india would have won that test and white washed england. KP was immense for DD because DD need any player who can work with sehwag. When sehwag failes , you need to stay and finish the inning. Warner does some times. Jaywardene was a failure last year. Ross is complete out of form. May be i am not sure Jaywardene and ross taylor fits DD. I wonder

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

Please have an Afghan player like Mohammed Shehzad (MS) or Mohammed Nabi. This will really help our cricket at home. Afghanistan's cricket needs international support particularly Indian. Hope any of the IPL will invite Afghan players too which will boost IPL's popularity with Afghans.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

My suggestion is take the Bangladeshi all rounder Nasir. He will cost a fraction of what KP costs you. At the same time, this kid is super consistent. He will give u a 50+ everytime he bats; but also be prepared to see him get out in the 90s. He can bowl some too (better than KP); but his batting is amazing. Has stopped a tiger collapse over and over again.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 20:25 GMT)

"In England, Pietersen continues to be an outsider despite playing for the country".... really? ...says who? - the most exciting player England have. The only batman (apart from Prior) who excites in the top 6. A full day of Cook, Compton, Trott, Bell, Root would not get the crowd on their feet as Pieterson does. IPL means nothing to English fans. All Test series pale against the Ashes which we're looking beyond the NZ Tests. England fans now would take losing the last NZ Test, losing at home to NZ as long as we beat the Aussies. Simple as that.

Posted by fah4 on (March 21, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

Its a big loss for DD, don't think Jesse Ryder can do 50% of KP also. Now David Warner becomes very important as Taylor was already released. Sehwag and Chand has to perform in batting.

Posted by jaek on (March 21, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

@Josh Maddy. You have got to be kidding me?! "Poor management by KP" - he's playing for his country in test cricket, the height of any players career so he's never going to not play a test series, just so he doesn't get injured to ensure he plays in a domestic competition.

Your claim that international cricket is hurting cricket and should be banned for 2 months before the IPL is just absurd - if anything it's the IPL that's hurting cricket, it's over-hyped, overpaid and a low standard of cricket, plus no one cares about it outside of India.

And signing Hamish Rutherford?? Come on, the guys had one good test innings, averages 12 in list a cricket and has only past 50 3 times in his 40 odd T20's

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (March 21, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

Yeah KP will be missed not only by DD / its fans but also by the fans in general as he is an Entertainer.

DD have got enough resources to make a good team.

My Playing XI :-

1) Warner * 2) Sehwag 3) Unmukt 4) Mahela * 5) Botha/ Jesse Ryder * 6) N. Ojha (wk) 7) I. Pathan 8) Negi/ Nadeem/ Nagar 9) Umesh Yadav 10) Morkel * 11) Nehra

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (March 21, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

If you Indians want KP that much you can have him for all I care. Once in a blue moon he'll hit that magical century but rest of the time just another average batsman. I said after his Mumbai knock that his next big knock will be in the Ashes series injury or not and I've been proven right so far. As an England fan I'd rather look forward to the likes of Bairstow, Root, Taylor, etc. KP for me is old news...well past his sell by date...about a year past due.

Posted by Aussiesfalling on (March 21, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

Replacing KP will be tough. The closest like for like replacement who is available is Matt Prior.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

I have to disagree that England fans are all lukewarm about KP. Personally, I think he's been brilliant for England. He made mistakes in handling his career last year, but you can't argue with the performances or the will to win.

Posted by cricketanand12 on (March 21, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

You still have jesse ryder...my team would be david warner,virender sehwag,unmukt chand,mahela jayawardena,kedar jadhav,naman ojha,johan botha,irfan patha,morne morkel,nadeem,yadav

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

This is not fair. Poor management by KP. Too many cricketers get injured around IPL. It is hurting cricket. There should be a rule that no international matches for two months before IPL. One can't help but feel sorry for Daredevils and fans. The best bet would be to sign Hamish Rutherford.

Posted by Darshi007 on (March 21, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

My playing XI : Sehwag, Warner, Chand, Jayawardene, Johan Botha, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Pawan Negi, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Aaron(if fit)/Agarkar

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