With KP, Mahela available now, Delhi hope to turn the tides under Sehwag

With so much spotlight on the big stars, including Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene, the issue ahead of Tuesday’s encounter between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla is not so much whether pacer Umesh Yadav will play or whether Virender Sehwag’s team can make do with its near-anonymous spin attack, writes The Times Of India, adding that instead, the pressure is on the more established players to drag the team up by the bootstraps following its wooden-spoon finish last year.

“Mahela and KP’s return will boost us,” Sehwag said. “Young players are looking forward to sharing the dressing room with them.”

Mahela, while acknowledging that the IPL was part fun and part serious business (“it’s 50-50”), admitted there was a lot of pressure. “Both KP and I have a bigger responsibility on the field. Our responsibility is to perform and help Viru as much as possible on the field. For both of us, it’s a good challenge,” he said.

Meanwhile The Hindu writes that only last week Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene were representing their countries in a see-saw Test series between England and Sri Lanka. This week they are wearing the Delhi Daredevils jerseys and backing the team in its first home game of IPL-V against Chennai Super Kings.

The two stalwarts are thorough professionals and know well how to switch from one team to another or from one format to another.

“I thought I had enough of him (Pietersen) last week, but we will have a few more weeks to spend together,” said Jayawardene displaying his typical sense of humour, on Monday.

Pietersen also had a laugh over how the two had turned from “total enemies” to teammates.

Sehwag said that he was confident of beating the defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their first home match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Tuesday. “We are looking to start our campaign in Delhi with a win tomorrow,” reads a report in the DNA.