MI can't afford trademark slow start to IPL, CSK have fantastic shot at title: Kevin Pietersen

Chennai Super Kings, often referred to as 'Dad's Army,' endured a poor 2020 when they finished at the joint bottom place but Pietersen feels the Dhoni's team could go all the way this time.

Published: 17th September 2021 04:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2021 04:48 PM   |  A+A-

Kevin Pietersen

Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen (File photo| AP)


LONDON: Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen says defending champions Mumbai Indians can ill-afford their typical slow start when the IPL resumes and MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings have a "fantastic shot" at regaining the title after a poor 2020 season.

Four-time winners Mumbai Indians, two-time champions Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and 2020 finalists Delhi Capitals were placed in the top-four when IPL was suspended in May due to COVID cases in its bio-bubble.

The T20 league restarts this weekend.

"Everybody will expect the holders of the competition, Mumbai Indians, to go well, but they don't have a good history of hitting the ground running. They tend to lose their first few games and then come good towards the end of the tournament," Pietersen wrote in a blog in

"We are already towards the end of the tournament now. Mumbai can't afford to lose three or four games before they start playing because there's so little time to play catch-up. If they are to retain their crown, they must be on it from ball one. Clearly, with the talent they have in their side, they are capable of doing it."

The Super Kings, who are called the 'Dad's Army' as most of the players in the side are over 30, endured a poor 2020 when they finished at the joint bottom place but Pietersen feels the Dhoni's team could go all the way this time.

"Everybody wrote off the old boys' army of CSK before the IPL started in April, so seeing them go so well was a bit of a surprise. Their overseas players Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran, in particular, delivered the goods," he wrote.

"But I'm not sure how well this four-month absence will have suited them. It could take them a little while to crank back into gear, particularly the older players. If they are ready, it could be a historic few weeks for the franchise. They have a fantastic shot at winning a title that everybody thought was beyond them."

Pietersen, a four-time Ashes winner, also backed the England players after reports emerged that many of the English players could boycott the Ashes due to strict quarantine rules in Australia in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's going to be very interesting to see how this situation with The Ashes develops. Players don't want to be away from families for months on end, particularly when they're restricted to bubble life," he said.

"I know that if I hadn't been able to take my family on an Ashes tour, there's no way I would have gone. I sympathise with all of the players in that position. Playing in The Ashes down under is hugely exciting, but they're being put in a very difficult position."

The Ashes is scheduled to be held in December this year.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp