Kevin Pietersen Has Picked His Favourite To Win The IPL 2022 Tournament

The biggest domestic cricket competition in world cricket, the IPL, has gotten everyone talking yet again. There have been a lot of teams that have seen some ups and downs in the 2022 edition of the tournament. Amongst these are big boys Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. Both newcomers have done really well, with Kevin Pietersen impressed by the Gujarat Titans more than the Lucknow giants.

The former England skipper has tagged Hardik Pandya’s team as the side to beat in this year’s competition. He has ranked them really highly and considers them to be one of the best in the tournament. This makes them a contender to win the competition as well.

Details of the verdict given by Kevin Pietersen about the Gujarat Titans

Like most Pundits, the South African born cricketer has his own pick of favourites in the IPL 2022 competition. Apart from the Titans, the 41-year old former all-rounder rates the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Capitals really highly. He considers all three favourites to make it to the playoffs of the competition and one of them to win it.

Pietersen also feels that the Gujarat Titans remind him of the Rajasthan Royals of 2008. This was the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League, which they won under the leadership of late leg-spinning legend Shane Warne.

He further said in his column with Betway, “When you are winning like that, the energy in the dressing room is so positive. Nobody talks about defeats, everybody has a smile on their face, and everybody is thinking positively. That then allows you to go out and express yourself and play even better.”

The former cricketer now turned commentator and Pundit also went on to add that all-rounders like Rashid Khan are also making a difference to the side. He signified how important the Afghani star is to the team, post his exit from the Sunrisers Hyderabad team. Rashid has helped the Titans win some crucial games, both with the bat and the ball as well.

KKR is in a big mess, needs overhaul

After watching the Kolkata Knight Riders crumble against the Delhi Capitals recently, Pietersen was shocked at the way things were being handled at this top franchise. The team had started the campaign positively under the leadership of Shreyas Iyer. However, it had gone downhill for them since then.

This was something that the management, coaching staff and fans wouldn’t have expected to happen. They have a top squad and a great team. Despite that, the combination does not seem to be clicking for some reason. The Knights have used as many as 19 players this term so far, which showcases that there are some fundamental issues.

Questions can also be asked of the coaching team and the captain, though every player seems to be contribution in bits and pieces. There doesn’t seem to be a strong leadership at the top and this could hurt them in the long run.

Pietersen spoke about this issue and said, “Last year, that run to the final was defined by out-of-the-box thinking. They had their analyst, Nathan Leamon, front and centre, sending signals out to the middle. They seemed really innovative. It now seems like the whole thing has run out of momentum. Along with Mumbai, they are my disappointments of the competition so far.”

Wrist Spin Will Be Crucial In The Tournament, Says Pietersen

Pietersen further went on to talk about the importance of wrist-spin in the IPL. It is a well-known fact that any competition that is played in the Indian subcontinent gives spinners and edge over fast-bowlers. That is the case once again and it has been highlighted by the former England skipper, who himself was a spinner.

Though Pietersen was a finger-spinner, he can see what the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzi Chahal have been doing in the tournament so far. He has been impressed with the former KKR man, who is with the Delhi Capitals this season. Further, Chahal is in contention for the purple cap at present and could be the winner that takes it home.

Ben Stokes- The New England Test Skipper

With all that is going around the England national cricket, there was the need for a new Test captain after Joe Root stepped down recently. Ben Stokes was appointed as the man for the job and many Pundits had their say on the matter. Now, Pietersen has suggested that the start of this new reign will the most crucial thing for his success.

He further added that the management and the new coach need to support him. That is if they want to make this a successful run, unlike the way things ended with Root as skipper.

Pietersen concluded by saying, “He is an incredible man manager. Works with every player all day long. Will give you throw-downs until dark and you can ring him at 2 am with any issue. A fabulous leader who understands the game of cricket like no other. Ultimately, though, Stokes and the new coach will be hamstrung until a radical overhaul of the system improves the quality of players coming through. Will be difficult until then. But I wish Stokes the best of luck.”

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