Gary Kirsten believes the present version of the IPL, which began at Abu Dhabi on Saturday, might be essentially 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,” mentioned the previous South African opener in a webinar.
“A team like Chennai is built around very slow wickets,” Kirsten mentioned. “It would be interesting to watch how they perform in different conditions.”
Kirsten, who as coach led India to World Cup win in 2011, reckons Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are the plain favourites. “But I think it is going to be a really interesting tournament to watch,” he mentioned. “Delhi Capitals had a great tournament last year and they have got a good squad. Rajasthan Royals have a good squad as well.”
He mentioned it was troublesome to foretell how the event would pan out. “Whoever gets a run and gets the momentum going (could do well),” he mentioned. “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 tricky IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore final yr. “I have always had a good relationship with (captain) Virat Kohli,” he mentioned.
“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.