Think about it for a moment. Pietersen is returning to a country where voluble sections of the crowd regard him as a traitor. He will be captaining two men - Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher - who probably have their own views on his decision to leave South Africa. He will be playing for a coach who revels in his straight-talking toughness (yesterday, he told us Pietersen "doesn't score enough runs") and for an owner - the whisky, airline and F1 magnate Vijay Mallya - whose expectations of success are such that last year he sacked his chief executive mid-tournament. What does he think this is? Football?
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo