Gujarat Titans (GT) made a stunning run in the first month of the 2022 Indian Premier League season, winning eight of their nine games to stay atop in the points table. However, they lost both their next two games to slip to the second spot, allowing Lucknow Super Giants to surpass them and subsequently exposing their weakness. Ahead of their game against LSG on Tuesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, former England captain Kevin Pietersen issued a stern warning to the Hardik Pandya-led side. (Follow IPL 2022 full coverage)
Gujarat were the side many expected to be among the top two teams in the points table in 2022 IPL. Most had criticised their selection at the mega auction in February, but Gujarat’s stunning run the first month left everyone taken aback.
Heading into May, Gujarat needed only a win to qualify for the playoffs, but captain Hardik Pandya decided to test his side by opting to bat first against Punjab Kings. And the side lost by eight wickets. In their next game, they lost by five runs to Mumbai Indians despite the openers giving them a century stand in the chase of 178.
Speaking to Star Sports after the Mumbai game, Pietersen lashed out at Gujarat for their twin losses and opined that negativity has begun to enter the dressing room and if they don’t bounce back now, it will affect their playoff hopes.
“At the start of the tournament I had said this, they wouldn’t have thought they would be in this position, but they build this position and the negative thoughts that they may have had six weeks ago, well I can tell you something right now, you lose a nail-biter like that, you lose a game because of poor decision, and the negativity begins to seep into the dressing room because you start thinking that at the big periods in the game are we not getting it right or are we getting it wrong. You need to play your best cricket now and win games,” he said.
All Gujarat need is a win to seal that spot, but Hardik would want a top-two finish for his side.
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