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Gujarat Titans can go all the way; KKR have been as disappointing as MI: Pietersen

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London, April 30 (IANS) Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen is willing to wager on Gujarat Titans to go all the way in the current edition of the Indian Premier League, saying that the newbies are “consistently finding ways to win”, even from hopeless situations.

The Hardik Pandya-led side is currently leading the IPL table with 14 points after winning seven matches and losing just one.

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“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,” said Pietersen on Betway Insider.

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that his first impression of the side after the IPL mega auction was that it wouldn’t be a winning unit.

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“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. When you’re 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. They’re not inhibited. They’re just doing what feels right instinctively. Look at Rashid Khan when he got them over the line against Sunrisers Hyderabad the other night. He just had this positive attitude and was able to pull it off.”

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Pietersen also singled out Rajasthan Royals for praise, saying they too were doing well in the tournament.

“Rajasthan are going really well, too, while I expect Delhi Capitals, with all of their experience, to make a good push for the top four. Those three teams are my favourites to win the competition, though he added that KKR were in a mess.

“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. They’ve used 19 players so far, which is far too many. For a franchise as big as them, it’s just a horrible state of affairs. 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,” added Pietersen.

–IANS

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