'They have made the biggest strides in the last week': Shastri names team that has emerged as contenders for IPL crown
IPL 2022: Ravi Shastri has said that the team has emerged as strong contenders for the title despite making a dismal start to the season.
The race for the top four is tightening up in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) and the season has thrown up some surprising names among the contenders. While fans and experts may have expected Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings to become the favourites to make it after the first half of the league stage is done, both sides are not even close to making it.(Follow IPL 2022 Coverage)
Instead, the teams that have emerged as the ones to beat this season are the two newcomers, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, alongwith Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have not enjoyed too much success in recent seasons. Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has said that he sees SRH, who started the season by losing their first two games, as the most improved team since the tournament started.
“The team that for me that has made the biggest strides in the last week or so has been the Sunrisers. Especially with the attack they have, Kane (Williamson) is now getting more into the act as a captain. He seems a lot more confident with the resources he has and the batting around him. That allows him to take his time and play the way he wants,” Shastri said on ESPNCricinfo.
Williamson's SRH have gone on a run of four consecutive victories since the first two matches. They were imperious in their most recent victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore, in which they dismissed the opponents for just 68 runs and then chased the target down in eight overs with nine wickets to spare. It was their fifth consecutive win.
Shastri also said that RR could be winning the title based on the form they are in. He also said that the Jaipur-based franchise could win the title in memory of their first captain Shane Warne, under whom they won the inaugural IPL tournament in 2008. Warne died last month due to a heart attack at the age of 52.
“I said at the start that a new team will win it. All three are in the hunt, Lucknow, Gujarat and RCB. So take them into the playoffs and then you can add Rajasthan Royals, who are playing some of the best cricket in the last four or five years. And if you want to be superstitious, you want to go with a trend, it's the year of Warnie. He won it the first time around for Rajasthan, could this be the year where they are playing for him and everything is going their way,” he said.