Dhoni backs `aggressive` Pietersen to shine in IPL

Johannesburg: Indian limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that the inclusion of former England skipper Kevin Pietersen will be a great asset for the Rising Pune Supergiants and insisted that his rich international experience will bolster the new franchise in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.

Pietersen was bought by Pune for 514,500 dollars during a player auction for the next edition of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament, which starts in April.

Dhoni, who will be leading the debutant side, described his fellow teammate as an ‘aggressive’ and ‘expressive’ player and said that he doesn’t expect any discipline problems from the maverick batsman, Sport24 reported.

Pietersen displayed a rich vein of form in the recently-held South Africa’s Ram Slam competition and Australia’s Big Bash League.

Pune and Rajkot replaced suspended franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals over a corruption scandal that engulfed the tournament’s 2013 edition.

Last year, Pietersen’s hopes of earning an England recall suffered a heavy blow when Andrew Strauss, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s director, told the maverick batsman that he would not be considered for an international recall.

Strauss had cited a ‘massive trust issue’ between him and the sacked batsman as the reason behind the decision to not select him for the 2015 Ashes series, which England won by 3-2.

Pietersen, a veteran of 104 Tests and 136 one-day caps for England, has been out of the national squad since his central contract was cancelled by the ECB following the team’s Ashes washout by Australia in 2014. (ANI)