Ravichandran Ashwin, Delhi Capitals’ premier off-spinner and senior India cricketer, considers Mumbai Indians as the favorites for IPL 2021. The Rohit Sharma-led outfit has won 5 titles since 2013, two in the last two, and will take the field this season to complete an unprecedented hat-trick of IPL trophies.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who was traded to Delhi Capitals ahead of last season from Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab), opines that Mumbai has a strong and experienced squad this year as well – MI have retained most of their players from last season, and have only beefed it up in the February auction, with the inclusion of James Neesham and Piyush Chawla.
Delhi Capitals lost to Mumbai in the final last year in the UAE; the off-spinner picked 13 wickets in the season at an economy of 7.67.
“Every team is strong and I am not making a diplomatic statement. But I definitely think Mumbai has got a powerful and experienced squad. Mumbai will always start as favourites in this competition. I think Mumbai is the team to beat,” Ravichandran Ashwin told The New Indian Express.
The team will definitely miss Shreyas Iyer: Ravichandran Ashwin
The 34-year-old expresses his concern over missing regular skipper, Shreyas Iyer, who is ruled out of the tournament owing to a shoulder injury sustained during the ODI series against England. Last season, Iyer led Delhi to its first-ever IPL final but were bested by Mumbai.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who was Man of the Series in the Tests against England, says that while the team will certainly miss Iyer, they will be helped by the presence of Steve Smith. The former Australia captain was roped in by the Capitals for INR 2.2 crore in the auction.
“Definitely, He is a very important player for us. This is my second year, but he (Shreyas) has been with the team for a long time and delivered. The team will miss him especially the way he was batting.
“Having an experienced player is always good for us. Especially now that Shreyas is not there which is a big blow for us. Hopefully someone like Smith share his experience and add value to the team,” the off-spinner added further.
The Capitals commence their campaign on April 10th against Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai.