The IPL 2022 has been an intense tournament so far. The two new teams are doing well, the Gujarat Titans and the Lucknow Super Giants. The former is on top of the points table at present, while the latter is in second place. The team led by Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul seems to be the most balanced side in this year’s competition so far.
They have been dominating the format and Kevin Pietersen has called the team from Gujarat, as the side to beat. The Betway ambassador recently revealed his favorites to win IPL 2022, criticized KKR for their silly shenanigans, and spoke about Ben Stokes, the new Test skipper for the English national side.
Gujarat Titans are a force to reckon with in IPL 2022; picks favorites to win it
The team under the leadership of Hardik Pandya has done wonders so far. They have some of the best finishers of the T20 format and are finding new ways to win matches. If they continue to play like they are at present, this team will be unstoppable and can win the IPL title this year.
David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, and Rashid Khan are three of the finest finishers in the T20 format right now. The Gujarat Titans have them amongst their ranks and they have not disappointed the fans and the side, more often than not.
Pietersen went on to compare the Titans to the Rajasthan Royals of the inaugural season, where they won the IPL title in 2008 under Shane Warne. He said, “I did not see them being at the top of the table when I first saw their squad, but they are on a roll.”
“It reminds me of Rajasthan Royals when they won the title under Shane Warne in 2008. They were not the best side on paper but everybody knew what they were doing and they had a great mentality. When you are winning like that, the energy in the dressing room is so positive.”
He further went on to talk about the impact of Rashid Khan on the team, a player who had moved on from The Sunrisers Hyderabad. Though the all-rounder had been slow to leave his mark, he eventually did. Brilliant performances both from the bat and the ball helped Gujarat Titans secure some crucial wins.
Along with GT, Pietersen picked the Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals to make it to the semis. He said the teams had enough quality and experience to make it to the playoffs and one of these three would be the eventual winners.
Kolkata Knight Riders are in a big mess; various reasons why
Further, Kevin Pietersen went on to talk about the problems within the KKR camp. He said that their team is in a serious mess, which is what he realized when they crumbled against the Delhi Capitals.
Based on the quality that they have at present, it should not be the case. The team from Kolkata has used as many as 19 players in the IPL 2022 tournament so far. For a franchise of this stature, it is a horrible state of affairs when the need to reshuffle occurs on such a consistent basis.
He further added, “That dressing room is full of the opposite energy to Gujarat: negative, negative, negative. Last year, that run to the final was defined by out-of-the-box thinking. They had their analyst, Nathan Leamon, front and center, sending signals out to the middle, and they seemed really innovative. Now it seems like the whole thing has run out of momentum. Along with Mumbai, they are my disappointments of the competition so far.”
Further, the South African born cricketer went on to talk about the importance of wrist spin in this tournament. He praised a former KKR bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who has been doing a great job so far. To add to that, he also talked about Yuzi Chahal, who has been the pick of the bowlers and is a serious contender for the “purple cap”.
Ben Stokes as the captain of the England Test team
Pietersen, who played for England, finally talked about cricket back home. He focused his attention finally on Ben Stokes and the fact that the all-rounder had been appointed as the new Test captain of the English side. This was a change that not many were expecting, though it was bound to happen with the problems that were going around the current form.
Kevin Pietersen was all praises for Ben Stokes and was glad that he had been chosen as the next skipper. He talked about the importance of a positive start and the backing of the new coach and the cricket board. He said, “Key is a good start, Stokes has the personality to captain the side, and personally would love to see Graham Ford come in as Test coach to complete the brain trust.”
“He is an incredible man manager. Will work with every player all day long. I Will give you throw-downs until dark and you can ring him at 2 am with any issue. He is a fabulous leader who understands the game of cricket like no other.”
Well, positive claims from the former England skipper himself, and it will be interesting to see how his predictions hold. For now, the focus will be on the IPL 2022 tournament, as we head into the business end of the season.