Former Royal Challenger Bangalore coach Gary Kirsten believes that this year’s IPL 13 may see a fresh team winning the title for the first time. The last time a new champion was crowned was in 2016 when Sunrisers Hyderabad won the title.
Since then, Mumbai Indians have won in 2017 and 2019, while Chennai Super Kings won the IPL in 2018, upon their return from a two-year ban.
Kirsten mentioned this because the IPL 2020 is taking place in UAE this year and this takes away the home advantages from all teams, opening up the tournament like never before.
“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. A team like Chennai is built around very slow wickets. It would be interesting to watch how they perform in different conditions,” Kirsten said in a webinar.
The 2011 World Cup-winning former India coach however picked Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings as his favorites to win the trophy.
“But I think it is going to be a really interesting tournament to watch. Delhi Capitals had a great tournament last year and they have got a good squad. Rajasthan Royals have a good squad as well. Whoever gets a run and gets the momentum going (could do well). 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,” he added.
Recalling his time with the RCB in IPL 2019, where the Virat Kohli-led franchise ended on the bottom of the points table, leading to Kirsten being replaced as head coach by Simon Katich.
“I have always had a good relationship with (captain) Virat Kohli. 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.