IPL: English cricket legend Kevin Pietersen mentions his three favorites

Kevin Pietersen has nominated his three favorites to win the IPL

Kevin Pietersen has named his three favorites to win the IPL (Photos: Getty)

England legend Kevin Pietersen has named his three favorites to win the Indian Premier League, and insists that the current leaders, the Gujarat Titans, will be ‘hard to stop’.

Gujarat, who was one of two new franchisees to join the IPL this year alongside the Lucknow Super Giants, has had a brilliant start to the 2022 edition and has won seven of their eight matches to climb to the top of the table.

Lucknow and Rajasthan Royals are in second place, two points behind the leaders, while Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore are currently in contention for the playoffs.

The Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders have all lost more matches than they have won, while the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians have endured a dismal start to the season.

Defending champions Chennai have collected just four points out of 16 possible, while five-time winners Mumbai have yet to secure a victory from eight matches and are threatening to set a number of unwanted records.

“At the moment, it looks like the Gujarat Titans will be hard to stop in the Indian Premier League,” Pietersen told Betway.

‘They consistently find ways to win, whether they are from a good, middle or bad position in the fights. When you have that winning mentality, it becomes very difficult to break.

‘I did not see them at the top of the table when I first saw their team, but they are on their way.

‘It reminds me of the Rajasthan Royals when they won the title under Shane Warne in 2008 – they were not the best side on paper, but everyone knew what they were doing and they had a great mentality.

‘When you win like that, the energy in the locker room is so positive. No one talks about defeat, everyone has a smile on their face and everyone thinks positively. It then allows you to go out and express yourself and play even better.

‘They are not inhibited. They just do what feels really instinctive. Look at Rashid Khan as he got them across the line towards Sunrisers Hyderabad the other night. He just had this positive attitude and was able to cope with it.

The Rajasthan Royals are also doing really well, while I expect the Delhi Capitals with all their experience will make a good push to the top four. These three teams are my favorites to win the competition. ‘

Two new teams were added ahead of this year's IPL

Two new teams were added ahead of this year’s IPL (Photo: Getty)

The Kolkata Knight Riders won three of their first four games and emerged as one of the early pacers in the IPL, but Brendon McCullum’s team has since lost five games in a row.

Pietersen added: ‘I know the Mumbai Indians get a shock, but KKR is also in a terrible way.

‘They have used 19 players so far, which is way too many. For a franchise as big as them, it’s just a horrible situation.

‘It’s a dressing room filled with the opposite energy to Gujarat: negative, negative, negative.

‘Last year, running to the final was defined by out-of-the-box thinking. They had their analyst, Nathan Leamon, in front and in the middle, sending signals out to the center, and they seemed really innovative.

‘Now it seems that the whole thing has run out of momentum. Together with Mumbai, they are my disappointments with the competition so far. ‘

The Indian Premier League continues on Saturday with the Gujarat Titans against the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals playing the Mumbai Indians.

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