Kolkata Knight Riders favourites to win IPL 5: Ganguly

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday picked Kolkata Knight Riders as the "hot favourites" to win the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Updated: May 23, 2012 20:58 IST
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Kolkata: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday picked Kolkata Knight Riders as the "hot favourites" to win the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Ganguly said his sixth sense picked up the Knight Riders as the probable winners but said the Kolkata outfit would look to avoid two-time defending champions Chennai in the summit clash on May 27.

A consistent Knight Riders put up yet another clinical show on Tuesday by notching up an 18-run win over Delhi Daredevils to storm into the final of the IPL for the first time in five years.

"My sixth sense says that KKR will win IPL this time. In sport there are several winning moments, I see them with KKR. Luck, it seems, is also with the KKR," Ganguly said referring to the toss won by captain Gautam Gambhir on the last two occasions in Pune.

"KKR however would look to avoid facing Chennai in the final. Otherwise, they look to be the best team to win the IPL this time," he said.

"Cricket is like a circle. There is one team this year and another next year. Hope Pune Warriors India win IPL next year," he added.

The former KKR skipper further said he had already wished team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan.

"He has always been passionate with the side. The way he reacted (after the win last night) was quite normal. We are used to see his somersaults," Ganguly said about the Bollywood star's celebration after KKR entered the final.

Ganguly added that KKR were "lucky" to have Sunil Narine in their side as the mystery spinner was the primary reason for their success this season. "Gambhir is lucky to have Narine in their side. If he (Narine) was in the opponents camp, even Gambhir would have found it difficult to negotiate the spinner," Ganguly said.

"Narine is the first reason for their success this season. He is the player of the tournament."

"He is having a psychological effect on the batsmen. His bowling a tight spell puts additional pressure on the batsmen against the other bowlers," he said.

Ganguly also ranked Gambhir among the top captains and said the left-hander from Delhi had shown resilience after being removed from Team India's vice-captaincy at the start of the Asia Cup.

"He was dropped from vice-captain for whatever reasons. But Gambhir has shown amazing resilience. I'm quite impressed with his captaincy. He is one of the best captains of this IPL," he said.

Ganguly felt that Lakshmipathy Balaji would not be fit from the hamstring injury for the final and picked Aussie speedster Brett Lee to replace the veteran seamer.

"I don't think he would recover in four days time. Lee should be brought in, that would mean Shakib Al Hasan would have to sit out. (Manoj) Tiwary would make it up in the batting (by replacing Balaji)," he said.

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