Kolkata, May 24: Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday tipped Kolkata Knight Riders as favourites to win the fifth edition of Indian Premier League after Gautam Gambhir's XI entered the final of the cash-rich league for the first time since its inception.
After Ganguly's sixth sense picked his home team, Kolkata Knight Riders as probable winners, the Prince of Kolkata said Gambhir's XI would look to avoid two time defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the final to be played on May 27, Sunday.
"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 captain Gautam Gambhir on the last two occasions in Pune.
"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.
Ganguly optimistic of Pune Warriors winning the IPL next year.
"Cricket is like a circle. There is one team this year and another next year. Hope Pune Warriors India win IPL next year," he added.
The former KKR captain said Knight Riders were 'lucky' to have Sunil Narine in the side, as he has been the contributing to the team's success in IPL 5.
"Gambhir is lucky to have Narine in their side. If he (Narine) was in the opponents camp, even Gambhir would have found it difficult to negotiate 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. His bowling a tight spell puts additional pressure on the batsmen against the other bowlers," he said.
Talking about Gambhir, Dada said the Delhi batsman has shown a lot of resilience after being sacked from Team India's vice-captaincy at the start of Asia Cup.
"He was dropped from vice-captain 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.
Talking about Laxmipathy Balaji's injury, Ganguly said he was doubtful of Balaji's participation in the summit clash as he might take more time to recover from the injury and suggested to pick Brett Lee for the injured pacer.
"I don't think he would recover in four days time. Lee should be brought in, that would mean Shakib Al Hasan would have to sit out. (Manoj) Tiwary would make it up in the batting (by replacing Balaji)," he said.