We need to keep playing well: Pietersen

Delhi Daredevils star batsman says there’s still a long way to go in IPL 2012

New Delhi 28 April 2012
While Virender Sehwag’s domination blunted the Mumbai Indians’ attack, Kevin Pietersen followed it up with a cameo that completely took the wind out of the visitors’ sails.

Pietersen, who has played crucial in Delhi Daredevils’ climb to the top of the table since coming into the side a couple of weeks back, scored an unbeaten 26-ball half-century as his team set MI a massive target. After their thumping victory, he spoke to about his team and his batting.

Excerpts from Pietersen’s interview:

On everything going DD’s way right now and them being the table-toppers

We are very happy with the position we are in, but this competition is a long way from over. It is irrelevant how good you are playing at the moment, I think you have to play well to get to the semifinals but that will come. Hopefully, we will still be playing good cricket then.

On his innings

I think our groundsman needs to be lauded for the wicket that he has produced. The wickets are absolutely brilliant, so to go and bat on them as a batter, you can give yourself a chance and score quick runs. That’s what I did this evening and that’s what all our boys did. Mahela [Jayawardene] and Virender [Sehwag] were absolutely brilliant this evening.

On whether there is a difference in the approach to his innings while chasing and while setting a target

You know what runs you are going to get when you are chasing. When you are setting [a target] you don’t know [that], so you just got to give yourself the best chance to hit the ball, and we did that this evening.

On how the season has panned out for him with only couple of games left before he leaves

I am very happy with the way I have played. I am very happy that we as a team have gelled and we supported each other and we have backed each other, and I will be very sad to leave the IPL because I absolutely love this competition.

On Virender Sehwag as a captain

He is a magnificent captain. I like the way he captains because everything is optional. You do what you want to do to get the best out of your ability. And I think that’s a brilliant way to captain and I love it. It works for me and I know it works for a lot of other senior players, so it is good and I love it.

On vice-captain, Mahela Jayawardene and the way he complements Sehwag, who is lot more instinctive

[...] They are both competitive cricketers. Viru might not look like he is strategizing, but he does. He might just be a little more relaxed, a little more calm. Mahela is obviously a little more upbeat [...] both of them are fantastic leaders. Sharing the dressing room with these two guys for the last two weeks was brilliant.

On young Indian cricketers to look out for

[Shahbaz] Nadeem has bowled beautiful left-arm spin. I am so happy that he has been around because he has helped the side a lot.
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