Kolkata: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday picked Kolkata Knight Riders as the "hot favourites" to win the ongoing Indian Premier League season five.
Ganguly said: "My sixth sense says that KKR will win IPL this time. In sport there are several winning moments, I see them with KKR. Luck, it seems, is also with the KKR," Ganguly said referring to the toss won by Gautam Gambhir on the last two occasions.
"KKR, however, would look to avoid facing Chennai in the final. Otherwise, they look to be the best team to win the IPL this time," he said. "Cricket is like a circle. There is one team this year and another next year. I hope Pune Warriors India win IPL next year," he added.
A consistent KKR put up yet another clinical show on Tuesday, notching an 18-run win over Delhi Daredevils to storm into the final of the tournament for the first time in five years. The former KKR skipper further said he already had wished team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan. "He has always been passionate with the side. The way he reacted [after the win against Delhi] was quite normal. We are used to see his somersaults," Ganguly said.
The 39-year-old further said KKR were "lucky" to have Sunil Narine in their side as the mystery spinner was the primary reason for their success this season. "Gambhir is lucky to have Narine in his side. If he [Narine] was in the opponents’ camp, even Gambhir would have found it difficult to negotiate [with] the spinner," Ganguly said.
"Narine is the first reason for their success this season. He is the player of the tournament. He is having a psychological effect on the batsmen. He’s bowling a tight spell, putting additional pressure on the batsmen against the other bowlers," he added.
Ganguly also ranked Gambhir among the top captains and said the left-handed batsman had shown resilience after being removed from Team India vice-captaincy at the start of the Asia Cup. "He was dropped from vice-captaincy for whatever reasons. But Gambhir has shown amazing resilience. I'm quite impressed with his captaincy. He is one of the best captains of this IPL," he said.