India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a terrific Test series against Australia and England this year.
In the four-match Test leg against England, Ashwin was the standout performer, picking up 32 wickets, as India outclassed the Joe Root-led side to seal the series 3-1 and also book a spot in the ICC World Test Championship final alongside New Zealand.
With 13 wickets from 15 matches, Ashwin was one of the mainstays of Delhi Capitals’ (DC) spin-bowling department as the franchise made it to their maiden IPL final last year, and they would be hoping that the offie brings out his A-game as they begin their chase for the elusive title this year from April 10.
During a recent chat with the Indian Express, Ashwin named the ‘team to beat in the IPL 2021’ and explained why he picked that franchise.
“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,” the Chennai-born cricketer said.
Talking about his team’s chances in the IPL season, Ashwin said, “Good, 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.”
“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,” he added.