Kirsten looks forward to fresh Daredevils start
Delhi Daredevils was the only IPL franchise to not retain any players ahead of the 2014 IPL auction. There were a few strong candidates for retention, like Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, David Warner and Mahela Jayawardene, but none were held on to.
At the auction, Daredevils used their three right-to-match cards to buy back Pietersen, who was later named captain, and domestic batsman Kedar Jadhav and spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. The only other player they have re-signed, in a 23-member squad, is domestic pacer Siddarth Kaul. This, new coach Gary Kirsten has said, was because the franchise wanted to make a fresh start.
"At the auction we made a decision to select a new squad and not retain anyone from last year. We are looking towards working with a new squad," Kirsten was quoted as saying by PTI. "Don't know whether it's a right decision or not, but that's what we have gone for."
Pietersen was axed in February by England for reasons that are yet to be revealed, but Kirsten said he had got positive "feedback" on him from the England camp. "The feedback that I got from that management is that he has been an outstanding player and contributor to the team," he said.
The team's focus now, in the lead-up to their first game against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 17 in Sharjah, is on getting to know each other, Kirsten said. "The guys are looking forward to being together. Eight days before the match, it is an important time to connect. We've started connecting and getting to know each other."
Kirsten is back in India as coach three years after ending his highly-successful stint with the national team. Coaching in the IPL, he said, would be more "intense". "The 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. I love watching T20 cricket and haven't missed many matches."