Breaking Down Kevin Pietersen's IPL 2014 Season with the Delhi Daredevils
The Daredevils, led by Pietersen, finished bottom of the table with just two victories and 12 defeats for a total of just four points.
Much was expected of the former England man, who arrived with the Daredevils as a freelance Twenty20 cricketer after his international career was declared over.
Before the tremendous challenge of playing simultaneously in England’s NatWest T20 Blast and the Caribbean Premier League in the West Indies, let us first look back on the IPL.
It was a difficult tournament personally for Pietersen, so read on for a breakdown of his efforts.
Initially Absent Injured
Great things were expected from Pietersen, but the Daredevils and their fans were forced to wait for him to make his first appearance after he arrived in India with a hand injury.
Game 1 vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (April 25)
Things did not immediately go to plan for Pietersen and the Daredevils, as they saw Hyderabad rack up 184 batting first.
Delhi’s captain was due in at No. 3 but did not enter the game until the 12th over with his side on 99-1.
He would score 16 from 17 balls in an innings that included one four and one six before being caught by Darren Sammy off the bowling of Dale Steyn.
Delhi would go on to lose the game by the small margin of just four runs.
Game 2 vs. Mumbai Indians (April 27)
In their next match against the Mumbai Indians, Delhi once again batted second and Pietersen again had to wait to enter the fray with the bat as he came in at No. 4.
Some fluency seemed to return for the former England man, who hit an unbeaten 26 from 18 balls in an innings that included two fours and one six.
It was enough to take his side home by six wickets in what was a comfortable win.
Game 3 vs. Rajasthan Royals (May 3)
Game 4 vs. Chennai Super Kings (May 5)
What followed against the Chennai Super Kings two days later was perhaps the most disappointing innings of Pietersen’s tournament as he was dismissed for a golden duck.
Bowled by Mohit Sharma after arriving at the crease with his side 36-1, Pietersen again could not help his side mount a total larger than 178 and only lasted one ball.
Delhi once again tasted defeat, as Chennai lost just two wickets in their successful chase.
Game 5 vs. Kolkata Knight Riders (May 7)
Another disappointment came for Pietersen against the Kolkata Knight Riders as he could muster just six runs from 12 balls with just one boundary four.
He was then run out by wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa in just the sixth over, and he was powerless to prevent his side losing once again by eight wickets.
Game 6 vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 10)
Pietersen promoted himself to open the innings in Delhi’s next encounter with Sunrisers Hyderabad, and it paid dividends for him personally.
The Daredevils captain hit 35 from just 19 balls in a knock that included four fours and two sixes, with a final strike rate of 184.21.
He was removed by Amit Mishra with his side on 54-2, so he will have been disappointed to see them subside to 143-7.
That total was once again not enough, as Hyderabad came through by eight wickets by virtue of the Duckworth/Lewis Method.
Game 7 vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 13)
Delhi travelled to Bangalore to face the Royal Challengers with hopes of arresting their slide, but then they saw their hosts rack up 186-4 in their 20 overs batting first.
Pietersen dropped down to No. 4 again in the Daredevils reply and did well to make 33 from 29 balls with two fours and one six.
However, it would not be enough as he was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal and saw his side wind up 16 runs short of what would have been a much-needed win.
Game 8 vs. Rajasthan Royals (May 15)
The Daredevils batted second in their next game against the Rajasthan Royals and saw their opponents hit a staggering 201-6 from their 20 overs.
It put Delhi in something of a hopeless position, and Pietersen could do little to prevent another loss despite moving up to open the innings.
He would score just 13 from 18 deliveries in an innings that comprised just one four before being removed by Rajat Bhatia.
Rajasthan would then go on to secure victory by 62 runs.
Game 9 vs. Kings XI Punjab (May 19)
Pietersen’s then-most effective innings of the year came against Kings XI Punjab in Delhi’s next game as he hit 49 from 32 balls with six fours and one six.
The opener helped build an effective platform for his side, although once again they were guilty of falling away in the latter part of their knock to only reach 164.
Punjab then had some problems in the chase but ended up reaching their 165 victory target with six wickets down and two balls remaining.
Game 10 vs. Mumbai Indians (May 23)
Pietersen’s penultimate IPL game of 2014 came against Mumbai, and while it was somewhat successful for him personally, it ended in yet another defeat.
The Indians scored 173 all out; then in reply Pietersen went out to open once again.
In a continuation of his previous form, the Daredevils captain hit 44 from 31 balls with six fours and one six to launch his team in their run chase.
Unfortunately, they once again fell short after Pietersen was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh and went on to lose by 15 runs.
Game 11 vs. Kings XI Punjab (May 25)
Delhi and Pietersen’s final IPL game of 2014 came against Kings XI Punjab, and the Daredevils skipper went out with a bang with his first half-century of the year.
Batting first, Pietersen hit 58 from 41 deliveries in a knock that included nine fours.
However, he would receive hardly any other run support from his colleagues as Delhi folded for 115 and saw their total easily passed by Punjab for the loss of just three wickets.
It was a sad end for Pietersen and the Daredevils, who lost nine consecutive games and would finish dead last in the final table.
11 matches: 294 runs; 29.40 batting average; 126.18 strike rate; 58 highest score
It would be an inconsistent and disappointing tournament for Pietersen, who arrived at the IPL and was expected to deliver with the bat almost immediately.
Perhaps his hand injury did not help his rhythm early, then after that he had some struggles despite some bright spots.
His final outing against Kings XI Punjab showed what he was capable of in what was a very good knock, but he also suffered from a lack of run support from his team-mates.
Overall then, this year’s IPL will not rank as one of Pietersen’s finer tournaments, and he will be determined to put it behind him in his upcoming games in England and the Caribbean.