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regular-article-logo Sunday, 16 June 2024

Experts suggest Kolkata Knight Riders are better equipped to lift IPL 2024 trophy

Kevin Pietersen feels the toss will be a crucial factor, but KKR’s positive mindset will definitely hand them an edge over the Sunrisers

The Telegraph Chennai Published 26.05.24, 05:23 AM
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer with Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Pat Cummins  in Chennai on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s final.

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer with Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Pat Cummins in Chennai on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s final. PTI picture

Kolkata Knight Riders are better equipped to lift the IPL trophy on Sunday, courtesy their superior spin attack and a better record against opponents Sunrisers Hyderabad, reckon experts Matthew Hayden and Kevin Pietersen.

KKR had trumped Sunrisers in the league phase as well as in Qualifier 1 last Tuesday, which gives them an edge going into the final, they said.

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“I’m very confident that KKR are going to win here. Having a few days off, watching the match (Qualifier 2 between Sunrisers and Rajasthan Royals), and understanding what the strengths and weaknesses of the Sunrisers are will be helpful,” Hayden said on Star Sports.

“KKR, having defeated the Sunrisers, are going to have great momentum. I also just feel that the quality spin of (Sunil) Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy on the red clay is going to make a difference.”

The 52-year-old former Australia and Chennai Super Kings opener believes a strong mentality of players and the entire team is important to win a rigorous tournament like the IPL.

Former England batsman Pietersen too believes KKR are well placed for their third IPL crown. “I didn’t like the way the Sunrisers threw in the towel the other evening in Ahmedabad, and I think it’s going to put them on the back foot at the start on Sunday.

“The way they just finished that game off, Pat Cummins gave Travis Head the ball, and Shreyas Iyer just went bang, bang, bang... It’ll give KKR a lot of confidence going into the finals knowing that they’ve already beaten the Sunrisers a couple of days ago,” Pietersen said.

“So, it’s going to be really hard for the Sunrisers to get up, but I think they will because they won the SA20, which means they know how to win. They’ve got a structure that knows how to win, and when you’ve got that belief within the franchise, that belief within the ownership, then momentum has its own way.”

Pietersen feels the toss will be a crucial factor, but KKR’s positive mindset will definitely hand them an edge over the Sunrisers.

Written with PTI inputs

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