Bottom-placed Deccan Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara has predicted that Shahrukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders will win the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"On form, I would say Kolkata (Knight Riders)," Sangakkara was quoted as saying by the IPL's official website.
Talking about other teams' chances, Sangakkara said Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings had a balanced side while Chennai's inconsistency could prove costly for them.
The Sri Lankan southpaw was all praise for Knight Riders' skipper Gautam Gambhir.
"Kolkata (Knight Riders) have been playing exceptionally well. I think you have to give credit to the way Gautam (Gambhir) has managed to get those guys to gel together. They have some top quality in that side."
Adding the fact that sides with better local quotient performed well, he said, "I think the most important thing when you look at all these sides(Delhi and Kolkata) is the quality of the local Indian players. Delhi has got Viru [Virender Sehwag], Ajit Agarkar, Umesh Yadav, Irfan Pathan. So does Kolkata when you look at Yusuf Pathan, Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary, (Laxmi Ratan) Shukla."
Attributing attrition of cricketers to various other franchises as one of the reasons for Charger's failure, Sangakkara felt they had a great team in hand and wished to have a good bowling coach in order to help young Indian fast bowlers.
"We have lost (Pragyan) Ojha. We have lost Harmeet (Singh Bansal). We have lost KP, and KP is a big cricketer. So is Harmeet. He has done a wonderful job for Deccan and he is very useful on selected tracks," he said.
"One of the other things that we can do is look for a good bowling coach, who can help the youngsters especially a guy like Veer (Pratap Singh)."