Gujarat Titans (GT) had an incredible start to the 2022 Indian Premier League season, winning eight of their first nine games to maintain their lead in the points standings. However, they dropped to second place after losing their next two games, enabling the Lucknow Super Giants to leapfrog them and expose their vulnerability. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen delivered a strong warning to the Hardik Pandya-led squad before their encounter against LSG on Tuesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

Gujarat was widely predicted to be among the top two teams in the 2022 IPL points standings. Most had criticized Gujarat’s choices at the major auction in February, but the state’s amazing performance in the first month stunned everyone.

Gujarat just needed a victory to qualify for the playoffs heading into May, but skipper Hardik Pandya opted to put his team to the test by batting first against Punjab Kings. And the team was defeated by eight wickets. They lost by five runs against Mumbai Indians in their following game, despite the openers providing a century stand in the chase of 178.

After the Mumbai game, Pietersen slammed Gujarat for their two defeats, claiming that negativity has started to creep into the dressing room and that if they don’t bounce back quickly, it would hurt their playoff chances.

“At the start of the tournament, I said this, they wouldn’t have thought they’d be in this position, but they built it, and the negative thoughts that they may have had six weeks ago, well, I can tell you right now, when you lose a nail-biter like that, when you lose a game because of poor decision, the negativity begins to seep into the dressing room because you start thinking that at key moments in the game, are we not getting it right or are we not getting it right He said, “Now is the time to play your best cricket and win games.”