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Gavaskar on why KKR can be big contender for IPL title

Last updated on: February 27, 2024 09:07 IST

Will Virat Kohli play this year's IPL? 

IMAGE: Will Virat Kohli play this year's IPL? Photograph: RCB/X

With Virat Kohli skipping the ongoing Test series against England citing personal reasons, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar on Monday wondered if the star batter would play in the upcoming Indian Premier League.

The IPL 2024 will begin with defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 22 at Chepauk.

Initially named in the Indian Test squad, the RCB talisman pulled out before the opening game in Hyderabad. Earlier this month, the cricketer along with his wife Anushka Sharma announced the birth of their second child.


"Kya woh khelenge... kuchh reason ke liye khel nahin rahe hain, shaayad ho sakta hai ke IPL ke liye bhi na khele (Will he play... He is not playing because of some reason, perhaps he may not play in IPL as well," Gavaskar said rather cheekily when asked if Kohli would be hungry for runs in the IPL as he would be returning to action after a long break.

Gavaskar was interacting with the students of Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi during a Star Sports Star event.

Gavaskar also hailed Mumbai Indians' move to make Hardik Pandya their captain, paving the way for Rohit Sharma to bat freely, without the additional responsibility of leading the side.

"To allow Rohit to play purely as a batter... it has been a busy season for him, first the World Cup, and now this series.

"This will give him the freedom to play without worrying about other players. My feeling is that it will work very well for Mumbai Indians.

"For Hardik to have someone like Rohit to turn to would be invaluable. Hardik will enjoy having Rohit as 'captain'."

 KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir celebrates with co-owner SRK after winning the IPL 2012 title

IMAGE: KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir celebrates with co-owner SRK after winning the IPL 2012 title. Photograph: Gautam Gambhir/Instagram

Terming Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings his favourite teams in IPL, Gavaskar said Kolkata Knight Riders would be the dark horse.

He said for KKR to succeed the "interaction" between coach Chandrakant Pandit and their former IPL-winning captain Gautam Gambhir would be key.

"Both Gambhir and Pandit are strong personalities and the interaction they would have would be key. The combination they both will make is going to be very crucial. If they click then KKR can become a very, very strong contender for the title."

Juhi Chawla with Rinku Singh

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