Pietersen warns Mumbai against slow IPL start
Kevin Pietersen (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen says defending champions Mumbai Indians cannot afford their familiar slow start and MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings have a great chance of winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) title after a poor 2020 season.
Five-time champions Mumbai Indians, two-time champions Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals were in the top four positions in the points table till May, when the tournament was stopped due to Covid.
The league will restart from Sunday.
Pietersen wrote in his blog at Betway.com: “Everyone would expect the defending champions of the tournament Mumbai Indians to do well but they don’t have a history of being on top from the start. They lose a few matches first and then come back after doing well at the end of the tournament.
“But now we are at the end of the first tournament. Mumbai cannot afford to lose three or four matches as there will be little time to come back.
“If they are to defend their title, they will have to make the same pressure from the first ball. It is clear that given their talents, they are capable of doing so. ”
The Chennai Super Kings team is also called ‘Dad’s Army’ as most of the players in the team have crossed the age of 30 and they had a bad season in 2020 with the team finishing joint bottom. But Pietersen feels that Dhoni’s team can hit back this year.
He wrote: “Everyone assumed the ‘Old Boys Army’ of Chennai Super Kings was paid even before the start of IPL in April so it was a bit surprising to see them doing well. Their overseas players Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran did well.
“But we will not know what hit them in four months. It may take some time for them to return to form, especially for the older players.
“If they are ready then these few weeks will be historic for the franchise. They have a great chance to win the title which everyone thought was out of their reach.”