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Royal Challengers coach wants KP to lead

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen could lead the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after he was sounded out by the team's coach Ray Jennings.

The Royal Challengers finished second from bottom in the inaugural edition of the IPL under current skipper Rahul Dravid and owner Vijay Mallya, in a bid to make his team more competitive, roped in Pietersen for a whopping USD 1.55 million in the players' auction held in Goa on February 6.

Mallya had already hinted at a change of captaincy after the auction.

"The captaincy options are open. The team management will take a decision on it," he had said.

Jennings got in touch with Pietersen via mail and sounded him out as a possible candidate to lead the side for the three weeks that he will be plying his trade in India.

"Kevin may work really well as captain for a short period," Jennings said.

"A small amount of time means a limited amount of time for things to go wrong. Captains often have that honeymoon period anyway. Rahul is an idol in Bangalore, a legend and a gentleman - a very different type of leader to Kevin. In IPL, you have to arrive fired up and play flat out for three hours. You need a leader who is going to go out and lead instantly," he was quoted as saying by 'The Times'. Jennings also ruled out any clash of interests working along side Pietersen, whose outbursts against Peter Moores cost both of them their jobs.

"Kevin's relationship with Moores is no concern of mine. Some people see Kevin as disruptive and think he has to do things his way. I have known him since he was 18 and I have no gripes with somebody who puts his heart into being successful.

"We bought Kevin to improve our whole profile, which goes beyond cricket. Kevin has great, eye-catching cricketing skills. He is also a very marketable guy. Whatever people think of him, those are facts. He is a product who can go across India and he might be an ideal captain over four weeks or so," said Jennings.

source - indianexpress.com
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