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April 8, 2014
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Players/Officials: Kevin Pietersen
Series/Tournaments: Pepsi Indian Premier League
Kevin Pietersen, the former England batsman, has insisted that he will not be using his stint with the Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming Indian Premier League to "prove anything" to his detractors.
Pietersen, whose international career was put to an abrupt end by the ECB, said that he had already accepted that he may never play for the country again, and that he was looking to move on.
"The break away from cricket has been fantastic and I'm really looking forward to playing in the IPL," Pietersen said. "What transpired in March has nothing to do with what I'm about to do now. I'm not out here to make any point and neither do I play cricket for that reason.
"I find the opportunity of again playing in the IPL really nice especially because I missed the last season due to injury and also due to the fact that I absolutely love the competition. I've played in every part of the world and after playing for almost a decade, I don't think I need to prove anything to anyone."
Pietersen hasn't played competitive cricket since January, but he was bought for $1.5 million, which was the Daredevils' second-costliest purchase at the auction in February, behind Dinesh Karthik, who cost the franchise nearly $2.1 million.
Pietersen, who will lead the team in the seventh season of the tournament, said that he was confident of a good showing from his side, which he believes is well balanced.
"We're bringing together a talented side. It comprises a good blend of experience and youth - all international, Indian and domestic players. The most important task is to make everyone feel like it's their own team.
"According to me, the key to success this time around would be to make sure that the management, the captain and the coach understands each player and let every single individual be themselves. Also, the idea will be to train well in whatever way we can and try to perform to the best of our abilities."
The Daredevils had a torrid outing in the IPL last season, finishing at the bottom of the table after losing 13 of their 16 matches.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala