Delhi Capitals (DC) spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has branded defending champions Mumbai Indians as the team to beat in the upcoming IPL. The Mumbai outfit are looking to win their third title in a row, a feat that no franchise has ever achieved.
Mumbai Indians are already the most successful team in the history of the IPL with five titles, and Ravichandran Ashwin believes they could very well be on course to win their sixth one this season.
"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 said in an interaction with The New Indian Express.
With Mumbai retaining their core ahead of the new season, they will undoubtedly start as favorites. Moreover, the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav will be more confident going into the new season after their impressive outing in national colors recently.
Ravichandran Ashwin rates Delhi Capitals' chances
Ravichandran Ashwin also rated Delhi Capitals' chances in the forthcoming IPL. The spinner believes that Rishabh Pant's terrific form with the bat could make a lot of difference.
"Good (On DC's chances), well-balanced one. Last year, our batting did not come well together. It was understandable due to lockdown and all that. But this year, in the kind of form in which Rishabh is, definitely that (team’s batting) also will get sorted out," Ravichandran Ashwin said.
The 34-year-old also highlighted how every franchise is in unchartered territory this season as teams are set to play at neutral venues for IPL 2021. The off-spinner suggested that conditions could end up playing a role in deciding who might come out on top.
"We have a good chance. But if you see the last few years, it is not always about the top two or three sides. Every team picks players judiciously and have good balance and options. The IPL is in a new caravan model, so conditions also will play a part," the Indian off-spinner added.
Following Shreyas Iyer's injury, DC have appointed Rishabh Pant as their new skipper. It remains to be seen whether Pant can take his team a step further from last season and deliver the first IPL title for the Capitals.