Former England player Kevin Pietersen believes MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have a great chance of claiming their fourth IPL trophy once the season resumes. The 14th edition of the IPL is all set to get underway on September 19 when the Mumbai Indians (MI) take on CSK.
After having a terrible 2020 season, which also happened to be their worst, CSK turned it around in stunning fashion. They’ve looked like the most complete team so far in the tournament. The overseas players have chipped with huge contributions in their victories so far, as per Pietersen.
“Everybody wrote off the old boys’ army of CSK before the IPL started in April, so seeing them go so well was a bit of a surprise. Their overseas players Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, and Sam Curran, in particular, delivered the goods. But I’m not sure how well this four-month absence will have suited them.”
“It could take them a little while to crank back into gear, particularly the older players. If they are ready, it could be a historic few weeks for the franchise. They have a fantastic shot at winning a title that everybody thought was beyond them,” Pietersen was quoted as saying by Betway.
“Mumbai don’t have a history of hitting the ground running” – Kevin Pietersen
On the other hand, the defending champions MI needs to pick up the pace right from the start. They sit in fourth place with four wins from seven games. The side has looked shaky in the initial stages. When the IPL resumes, Pietersen expects them to do well in the remainder of the tournament.
“Everybody will expect the holders of the competition to go well, but they don’t have a good history of hitting the ground running. They tend to lose their first few games and then come good towards the end of the tournament. Well, we’re already towards the end of the tournament now.”
“Mumbai can’t afford to lose three or four games before they start playing because there’s so little time to play catch-up. If they are to retain their crown, they must be on it from ball one. Clearly, with the talent they have in their side, they are capable of doing it,” Pietersen added.
The remaining 31 matches of the IPL 2021 season will be played across three venues in the UAE, viz. Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.