DateLine: 17th April 2009
From turning his back on South Africa, to returning to his homeland with three ODI centuries and securing the Ashes with his maiden Test ton, Kevin Pietersen has quickly become the team's best batsman, and a leading light in world cricket, consistently dominating attacks. Pietersen has been making headlines consistently, be it for his walking away from South Africa, his hairdos, his choice of strokes, a penchant for making statements that get him into trouble, not least in the West Indies when he went on record as wanting to chuck it all and go back to his wife.
But amidst all that, Pietersen has emerged as one of the best in the England ranks, rising from a South African playing for England, to captain of the team. He accepted the England captaincy following Michael Vaughan's resignation and began with a string of wins against South Africa. But his reign lasted barely five months and early in 2009 he resigned after a very public row over the suitability of Peter Moores as coach.
Pietersen showed his class as a player and person during the tour of South Africa when he ignored the voluble protests and played like a champion, so much so that even his former countrymen had to grudgingly acknowledge and applaud. Pietersenís standing rose with his handling of the Mumbai terror attacks. While his tenure was never going to be dull, few expected it to be so short and dramatic. After criticising Moores following a tough tour of India, forcing the ECB to call an emergency meeting, he resigned from his post, leaving English cricket in crisis.
The IPL waits with open arms for the mercurial KP, as he brings a sea change in the approach of the Bangalore Royal Challengers, and the team bosses, having invested $1.55 million on the charismatic player, would be expecting him to change the sideís fortunes.