Indian skipper MS Dhoni has backed mercurial batsman Kevin Pietersen to perform in the upcoming Indian Premier League, calling him a "fantastic player", saying that he does not expect any disciplinary problems from the ex-England captain.
Pietersen, who is currently playing for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), was bought by new franchisee Rising Pune Supergiants for $514,500 (£354,685) at the recent player auction for the next edition of the tournament set to start in April. Dhoni is confident that the 35-year-old would be a great asset to a team making their debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
KP, as the Englishman is lovingly called, has not played for England since 2014, being forced out due to disciplinary issues, while he was involved in a major spat in 2009 with then coach Peter Moores, which led to his resignation as England captain.
"Again, you know people are often judged by what comes in the media, but when you actually meet them they are totally different. I don't think there will be any issue with discipline", Dhoni said, as quoted by Times Of India.
"As I said, KP is a fantastic player, someone who is very aggressive and at the same time very expressive on the field. It is good to have him in the side", he further added.
The South Africa-born batsman, who has played 104 tests and 136 One Day Internationals (ODI) during a decade-long career, has been in excellent form in various T20 leagues over the world, something which Dhoni feels will work in Pune's favour.
Rising Pune Supergiants squad: MS Dhoni (c), Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Murugan Ashwin, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Scott Boland, Deepak Chahar, Ashok Dinda, Faf du Plessis, Peter Handscomb, Jaskaran Singh, Mitchell Marsh, Ishwar Pandey, Irfan Pathan, Thisara Perera, Kevin Pietersen, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Steven Smith, Adam Zampa.