'Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy on the red clay is going to make a difference' - Matthew Hayden picks KKR as favourites to win IPL 2024

Matthew Hayden explained why KKR have a better chance of winning the IPL 2024 finals on Sunday, May 26.

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Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Matthew Hayden played 32 games for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first three seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and helped the franchise win the first of their five titles in 2010. The legendary Australian cricketer backed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to emerge victorious in the IPL 2024 final on Sunday, May 26, against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai.

The Shreyas Iyer-led KKR defeated SRH in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday, to storm into the summit clash. The Orange Army, led by Pat Cummins, had to take the longer route to the finals, as they managed to defeat Rajasthan Royals on Friday in Qualifier 2.

Besides, Hayden believes that KKR have the advantage over SRH in the finals as the two-time champions got the chance to note the strengths and weaknesses of their upcoming opposition during their game against Rajasthan. Also, the final is set to be played on a red-soil pitch and the 52-year-old backed KKR's spin duo of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy to come good.

Also Read: 'I think KKR have an advantage' - Kevin Pietersen backs Kolkata Knight Riders to win their third IPL title

 "I'm very confident that KKR are going to win here, as having a few days off, having the ability to watch this match, and understanding what the strengths and weaknesses of Sunrisers Hyderabad are will be helpful. KKR, having defeated SRH, is going to have great momentum. I also just feel that the quality spin of Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy on the red clay is going to make a difference." Hayden said while speaking exclusively on Star Sports Cricket Live.

Finals are about owning your space, understanding your role, and going for jugular: Matthew Hayden

Furthermore, Matthew Hayden opined that Rajasthan weren't committed with the bat during Qualifier 2 and that led to their downfall. He explained the mindset teams need to have in order to win finals, where the stakes are at an all-time high.

“It's about just getting it right, really as simple as that. You've done all the hard work, traversed the country, been in and out of planes, buses, different hotels, and different beds. It's a really challenging, rigorous tournament, and only the strong-hearted get a chance to lift that trophy at the end. Luck will always play a little role in a sportsperson's life, no question, but more than anything, it's about making sure you're committed to your team on the day," the former Australian legend continued.

Also Read: Now that we have reached the final, we will definitely win the IPL: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

"What I saw from Rajasthan Royals was that while they were committed on one side of the match, they didn't fully believe when it came to batting. They felt the strain and tension, and they succumbed to it. On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad bounced back. It's not easy to bounce back in big matches after a loss. We were just talking about that with India and Pakistan. Finals are not about retreating into your shell. Finals are about sticking your chest out, owning your space, understanding your role, and going for the jugular. That's the mentality you need in a final. It's a hunt, and you need to be in it to win it," Hayden concluded.

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