IPL 2022: Kevin Pietersen reveals his favourite team in the IPL

Former England Skipper Kevin Pietersen revealed his favourite team in this year’s IPL and it’s none other than the present table topper Gujarat Titans. Gujarat has won 9 games out of 12, and the team this season has given some exhilarating performances. Pietersen seemed very impressed with them and even compared their form to the Rajasthan Royals of the inaugural edition, who went on to clinch the trophy in that season. He also was in awe of Rashid Khan who pulled off a smacker in the last game against the SunRisers Hyderabad

At the moment, it looks like Gujarat Titans are going to be difficult to stop in the IPL. They are consistently finding ways to win, whether from a good, middling or bad position in games. When you have that winning mentality, it becomes very difficult to break. I didn’t 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 weren’t the best side on paper but everybody knew what they were doing and they had a great mentality.” Pietersensaid in an Interview.

Revealing his other favourites in the league he vouched for the Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals.

KKR’s Comedy of Errors

Winning the first three games like a cakewalk, and then losing the next five the team which came as an utter shock in this season was the Kolkata Knight Riders. They currently occupy the seventh position and their playoff qualification lies in a cliffhanger. The team has used 19 players so far, with frequent changes in the squad in almost every game of the season. Pietersen went on to compare them with another flop of this season, the Mumbai Indians whose playoff chances have now ended. MI occupies the last place in the points table just 2 games out of 11. Pietersen praised how KKR carved their way to the finals last year with a different yet unique approach which seemed to be missing this season.

“I was working on the game on Thursday when Kolkata Knight Riders crumbled to defeat against Delhi. I know that Mumbai Indians are having a shocker, but KKR are also in a dreadful way. They won three of their first four games and have totally lost it since then. That is a dressing room 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 centre, 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.” Pietersen added

Wrist Spinners- A franchise’s key to success

Praising Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who have been in scintillating form this season Pietersenrevealed the importance of wrist spin in IPL. Chahal has been the leading wicket-taker this season with 22 wickets, the purple cap is tucked to his name. Kuldeep on the other hand has given a pleasant surprise, the trust and belief the Delhi Capitals have shown in him have turned the tides for him. He is presently on the fourth position in the highest wicket taker’s list with 18 wickets.

“The top two wicket-takers in the competition are spinners – and it’s particularly nice to see Kuldeep Yadav, such an exciting talent, going well. Orthodox spinners can be easier to line up, but mystery wrist spinners like Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal are so difficult to play.” Pietersen added.

Ben Stokes- the right man to lead England

In April 2022, the ECB decided to name Ben Stokes as England’s full time Test skipper after Joe Root decided to step down. Stokes was Joe’s deputy earlier and was an obvious choice considering the experience he has of International cricket.

“Being appointed as England Test captain is an incredible honour. Ben Stokes and his family will be incredibly proud and rightly so. I’m a firm believer that the England team needs a leadership group with some gravitas and personality.” Pietersen further stated.

Pietersen revealing Stokes as his personal favourite for this role, also vouched for Graham Ford to be appointed as the team manager as ford is an incredible manager and easy to work with. Emphasizing on bringing new talents into the England squad Pietersen wished Ben Stokes best of luck.

“Stokes has the personality to captain the side, and personally I would love to see Graham Ford come in as Test coach to complete the brain trust. He is an incredible man manager and he’ll work with every player all day long. He’ll give you throwdowns until dark and you can ring him at 2am with any issue. He’s 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. It will be difficult until then, but I wish Stokes the best of luck.” Pietersen conclude.