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Graeme Swann picks KKR as favourites to lift IPL 2024 trophy

24 May, 2024 13:05 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Former England cricketer and ex-Rajasthan Royals member Graeme Swann named Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as his favourite to win the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 saying "they have all the areas covered."

The IPL 2024 has reached its end stage of the tournament as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) marched into the final, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by eight wickets in Qualfier 1 at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. In Eliminator 1, Rajasthan Royals (RR) knocked out Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) at the same venue to face SRH in the Qualifier 2 at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

"KKR are the one who will lift the trophy in the finals from what I can see, as they have all the areas covered out, be it batting, bowling or fielding, they have dominated this season of IPL and with Gautam Gambhir as their head coach they are the best," said Swann told IANS.

At the Narendra Modi Stadium on Tuesday, after dismissing Head with the one coming back in sharply on the second ball of the game, Starc proceeded to take out Nitish Kumar Reddy and Shahbaz Ahmed on consecutive balls in the fifth over to rattle SRH in the power-play. Overall, Starc picked 3-34 and was named Player of the Match in KRR marching to Sunday’s final in Chennai via a big win in Qualifier 1.

With Starc back in form Swann warned other teams to be very scared of the star Australian bowler as he knows how to handle the pressure of the finals. "He (Mitchell Starc) is back in form and its’ kind of a threat to other teams whoever reaches the finals. The guy knows how to handle the pressure of big matches, he has played a lot in that situation and will be deadly. The best thing about him is the raw pace that he has and with the one coming into the stumps hae can beat any batter in the world. We have already seen what he did to his teammate Travis Head, who is in the form of his life this season. So, my advice to other teams is to play cautiously against Starc and try to cut off his swing by charging on the ball," he said.

Swann also advised Cummins-led SRH not to be in any kind of pressure in the eliminator against RR and play their aggressive style that they have been playing throughout the season. However, Swann picked RR as his favourite to reach the final, praising the captaincy skills of Sanju Samson.

"SRH has played dominated and aggressive throughout the tournament that’s why they are in the playoffs. In the match against KKR Cummins was bad with choice of batting first, they should have chased the target in the match because the conditions were different at Ahmedabad--there was dew, no help for the swing bowlers and that backfired them. So my advice for them is to continue their aggressive nature of cricket and ask the batters to chase the target in Chennai. But for me I would like RR to win the match and then head to finals, that will be an epic match to see.”

When asked about the Indian squad fielding four spinners in their 15-man squad including Yuzvendra Chahal -- who last played any T20I match back in July 2023, Swann said, "I think that's a pretty good decision and I appreciate skipper Rohit Sharma for that. He asked the selectors for four spinners sensing the nature of the West Indies and USA pitches will be beneficial for the Indian team. They have top-class spinners, who can perform at any level. Kuldeep has been magnificent in the IPL, Chahal is taking wickets, Jadeja has performed under par with the ball but his batting has evolved and we saw what Axar Patel can do. So, overall it’s the best spin attack in this T2O world cup and their middle order is too rock solid, it’s just they perform."

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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