IPL 2024
Matthew Hayden and Kevin Pietersen Predict KKR To Win IPL 2024 Final
By CricShots - May 25, 2024 6:23 pm
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Matthew Hayden, the legendary Australian cricketer who played 32 games for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first three seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and helped the franchise win their first title in 2010, has backed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to emerge victorious in the IPL 2024 final. The highly anticipated match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) is set for Sunday, May 26, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

The Shreyas Iyer-led KKR stormed into the summit clash by defeating SRH in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday. In contrast, the Pat Cummins-led SRH had to take a longer route to the finals, overcoming Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 on Friday.

Hayden believes KKR have an advantage over SRH in the finals, as the two-time champions had the opportunity to observe and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their upcoming opponents during their game against Rajasthan. Additionally, the final is set to be played on a red-soil pitch, which Hayden feels will benefit KKR’s spin duo of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy.

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“I’m very confident that KKR are going to win here,” Matthew Hayden said while speaking exclusively on Star Sports Cricket Live. “Having a few days off, the ability to watch the match, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Sunrisers Hyderabad will be helpful. KKR, having defeated SRH, is going to have great momentum. I also just feel that the quality spin of Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy on the red clay is going to make a difference.”

Furthermore, Hayden opined that Rajasthan Royals weren’t fully committed with the bat during Qualifier 2, which led to their downfall. He explained the mindset teams need to have in order to win finals, where the stakes are at an all-time high.

“It’s about just getting it right, really as simple as that. You’ve done all the hard work, traversed the country, been in and out of planes, buses, different hotels, and different beds. It’s a really challenging, rigorous tournament, and only the strong-hearted get a chance to lift that trophy at the end. Luck will always play a little role in a sportsperson’s life, no question, but more than anything, it’s about making sure you’re committed to your team on the day,” Hayden continued.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden and Kevin Pietersen

“What I saw from Rajasthan Royals was that while they were committed on one side of the match, they didn’t fully believe when it came to batting. They felt the strain and tension, and they succumbed to it. On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad bounced back. It’s not easy to bounce back in big matches after a loss. Finals are not about retreating into your shell. Finals are about sticking your chest out, owning your space, understanding your role, and going for the jugular. That’s the mentality you need in a final. It’s a hunt, and you need to be in it to win it,” Matthew Hayden concluded.

Former England batting star Kevin Pietersen also weighed in, predicting that Kolkata Knight Riders will have an edge over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2024 final. Pietersen believes KKR’s spin attack and their recent record against SRH give them a significant advantage going into the title clash.

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“I didn’t like the way the Sunrisers threw in the towel the other evening in Ahmedabad, and I think it’s going to put them on the back foot for the start on Sunday. The way they just finished that game off, Pat Cummins gave Travis Head the ball, and Shreyas Iyer just went bang, bang, bang,” he said on Star Sports Cricket Live.

Kevin Pietersen emphasized that the Pat Cummins-led SRH needs to play extraordinarily well to defeat KKR and lift their second title in the history of the league. “It’ll give KKR a lot of confidence going into the finals knowing that they’ve already beaten SRH a couple of days ago. So it’s going to be hard for the Sunrisers to get up, but I think they will because they won the SA20, so they know how to win,” he added.