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Yuvi criticism is unfair, says KP

- ‘DD have the ability to go all the way’
Kevin Pietersen

New Delhi: Once labelled a ‘pie-chucker’ by Kevin Pietersen, beleaguered Yuvraj Singh has now found support from the former England captain, who says the all-rounder is at the receiving end of “unwarranted criticism” following his scratchy show in the World T20 final.

Yuvraj’s 21-ball 11 took the momentum out of India’s innings on Sunday against Sri Lanka as India lost by six wickets. Some unruly fans reportedly pelted stones at the all-rounder’s residence in Chandigarh after the loss.

“I haven’t read the newspapers here, but what I have seen on Twitter is that he has got a bit of stick. I think that it was unwarranted and he did not deserve this,” said Pietersen.

Former India players were also critical of Yuvraj’s batting, which prompted Pietersen to say that it’s “very easy to say things” when one is not an active international cricketer.

“You can’t always be good. It’s very easy to say things when you stop playing. I see a lot of players talking who don’t even play international cricket and wished they were playing, have a lot of things to say, because criticising is the easiest thing to do,” he said.

Set to lead the Delhi DareDevils in IPL VII, Pietersen is happy that he will have to face a selection dilemma when it comes to having his pick between Dinesh Karthik and the new South African sensation Quinton de Kock when the team begins its campaign.

“Of course, it is good to have selection dilemma. I kind of enjoy having selection dilemma. You have got to hate the fact that you can only choose from only 11 players.

“You should be wanting that your squad of 16 is ready to have a go. Yes, it will be a difficult pick for the first match, but we would certainly settle down with time,” he said.

Pietersen reiterated he is quite confident about the DareDevils’ chances, as he believes the team has got good depth.

“We do have a lot of expectations as we have picked players who can do real good things.

“The strength is good as we have quality Indian players and experienced overseas players. In Gary Kirsten, we have a great coach. I think we have the ability to go all the way. Having said that, I can tell you that there are no guarantees as such,” he said.

Talking about DareDevils coach Kirsten, Pietersen said that both are on the same page regarding the team’s common goal.

“I think my interactions with Gary have been very, very good. We kind of sing from a similar hymn sheet. Gary is a very relaxed man and a great man manager.”

“According to me, the key to success this time around would be to make sure that the management, the captain and the coach understands each player and let every single individual be themselves.

Also, the idea will be to train well in whatever way we can and try to perform to the best of our abilities.”

The DareDevils had a torrid outing in the IPL last season, finishing at the bottom of the table after losing 13 of their 16 matches.