Kevin Pietersen recalls playing with “superstar” Virender Sehwag
Famed England batsman Kevin Pietersen is one of the most admired cricketers in India. Pietersen, who retired in March 2018, joined Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 in a £1.1 million purchase. The signing made Pietersen the world’s most expensive cricket player at the time alongside Andrew Flintoff.
Pietersen spent two years playing with Royal Challengers Bangalore before moving to the Delhi Daredevils. The batsman’s time in the IPL created a large fan following who are still dedicated to his every move today.
In a recent interview with Betway, Pietersen spoke about his love and admiration for the IPL. He also shared his thoughts and memories of some of his past teammates. One player Pietersen spoke glowingly about was Virender Sehwag. The two cricketers played for the Delhi Daredevils at the same time from 2012 to 2013.
Sehwag: Carefree attitude
According to Pietersen, his most fun on the cricket pitch came with Sehwag. The Indian cricket great, who played for the Delhi Daredevils between 2008 and 2013, had a carefree attitude on the field that Pietersen admired. It was also the best thing about Sehwag in Pietersen’s opinion.
Sehwag’s approach to playing cricket also impressed Pietersen. The Indian batsman sang songs as the bowlers began their run-ups before hitting the ball around the park. Pietersen regards Sehwag as a compete superstar of cricket.
Sehwag had a tremendous IPL career playing 96 matches, scoring 2,629 runs, and two centuries. The batsman was a long-time member of the Delhi Daredevils and spent the majority of his IPL career with the club.
Captaincy success and failures
Pietersen’s time in the IPL started well before playing alongside Sehwag with the Delhi Daredevils. His career with the Royal Challengers Bangalore not only saw him become the world’s co-most expensive player, but he also gained the team’s captaincy.
The king of controversies was highly sought-after as a captain when Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him in the IPL auction. After a disastrous inaugural IPL season, Royal Challengers Bangalore turned to Pietersen to improve the team. According to Pietersen, as captain, he tried hard to position the team and make everyone happy.
However, the batsman only led the club to two wins out of their first seven games as skipper. Pietersen was unfortunately dropped as captain with Anil Kumble instated as the team’s skipper. Kumble went on to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to the IPL finals that season.
Speaking to Betway, Pietersen expressed the importance of team spirit within the clubs he played for in the IPL. Even though Kumble took over the captaincy for Royal Challengers Bangalore, the ex-England international still played a pivotal role behind the scenes as well as on the pitch.
Pietersen experienced additional failures in the IPL while captaining the Delhi Daredevils. Still, he learned from the game and the quality of the league was part of the reason for its competitiveness leading to a lack of success as skipper.
The batsmen did learn from those players around him, like Sehwag, and it was thanks to their friendships and experiences that Pietersen looks back fondly upon his time in India.
Check out the video interview with Betway.