Kirsten: This year's IPL may have a new winner

Gary Kirsten believes the current edition of the Indian Premier League could turn out to be the most open one ever.

For Kirsten, Mumbai and Chennai are obvious favourites.   -  Getty Images

Gary Kirsten believes the current edition of the IPL, which started at Abu Dhabi on Saturday, could be the most open one ever.

“The difference of this year’s IPL is that there are no crowds and no home games and I think that is a massive neutralizer,” said the former South African opener in a webinar.

“A team like Chennai is built around very slow wickets,” Kirsten said. “It would be interesting to watch how they perform in different conditions.”

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Kirsten, who as coach led India to World Cup win in 2011, reckons Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are the obvious favourites. “But I think it is going to be a really interesting tournament to watch,” he said. “Delhi Capitals had a great tournament last year and they have got a good squad. Rajasthan Royals have a good squad as well.”

He said it was difficult to predict how the tournament would pan out. “Whoever gets a run and gets the momentum going (could do well),” he said. “You might find that this year’s IPL might have a new winner. It would be fun to have a winner other than Mumbai or Chennai.”

Kirsten recalled that it was a tough IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore last year. “I have always had a good relationship with (captain) Virat Kohli,” he said.

“Last year we lost a lot of games initially but then were able to pull it back and started to get something going. Then they fired me. That is cool,” he added.

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