Indian public has taken Pietersen to their hearts

Last Updated: Sun, Apr 29, 2012 05:24 hrs

The IPL enters its second half, with the Delhi Daredevils as the clear leader with quite a few teams hot on its heels. This has to be the most close IPL ever with just about every team capable of qualifying for the knockouts. This is the big plus of having a home and away games for all teams.

Not only does it give the teams a chance to come back in the tournament, it also gives them the opportunity to try and experiment with their combination, and see which one is the best. Of course, as the event goes on and the weather gets hotter there will be some injuries too but that would have happened anywhere anytime.

Some teams who started well are not able to keep the tempo while some teams who didn’t begin well are now settling down and winning and thus keeping the race to the last four, an intriguing one. Last year’s bottom placed team, Delhi Daredevils have been outstanding.

Their batting is coming good. The skipper Virender Sehwag, has now got three successive half centuries and has helped his team not only put up big scores, but also to chase down huge targets. Kevin Pietersen has been awesome to say the least. He is getting the kind of ready acceptance that he doesn’t quite get in his adopted country England, where there are clearly two camps of those, who like him and those who don’t.

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No such issues for him here, as the Delhi and Indian public has taken him to their hearts. What no Indian has forgotten is that he was the captain of the England team that came back to play in India after the dastardly happenings of 26/11.

While not much is known of those who understandably opposed the team coming back there is not the slightest doubt that if as skipper he had objected to the return, the team would not have come back. He lost his captaincy after that in circumstances that were baffling to the outsider, but if anything his commitment to the England team has been greater but has not necessarily been appreciated by the media or the officials there.

The Royal Challengers have been inconsistent, but are a dangerous team with the likes of Gayle and Dilshan, de Villiers in their ranks and Virat Kohli yet to strike big, they are a team that can beat anybody. They will be hoping to capitalize on the recent lack of form of the Mumbai Indian and if they win then they give themselves a great chance of qualifying for the last four.

There have been some eye catching performances so far from Franklin, Rayudu, Rahane, Hussey, apart from those mentioned earlier. However towering above them all is Virender Sehwag, who with his consistency is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.

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