‘Only they can knock MI off & stop them from winning sixth title’: Brad Hogg names the ‘team to beat’ in IPL’s UAE leg
The second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is set to start from Sunday in the UAE and the cricket pundits have already begun speculating what the tournament is going to offer to the viewers. While the table-toppers would look to consolidate their position to qualify for the playoffs, teams which are reeling in the lower half would hope a strong comeback.
Meanwhile, former Australia left-arm spinner Brad Hogg feels that Delhi Capitals (DC) would be the team to beat in the remainder of IPL 2021. The Rishabh Pant-led side are currently placed on the top of the table with 12 points and will kickstart their campaign in the UAE against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
In his latest YouTube video, Hogg threw his weight behind Delhi Capitals, stating that the return of Shreyas Iyer and presence of Ravichandran Ashwin will make the team stronger. He also mentioned that the break after the first half of the tournament, due to Covid-19 outbreak in the bio-bubble, worked in Delhi’s favour.
“DC for me are the team to beat. Having this break, they have got (Shreyas) Iyer coming back into the line-up, which allows them to have a little bit of a variety with their overseas players. They don't have to rely on Steve Smith now. It will give them better balance. They have got (Ravichandran) Ashwin coming back as well. They are stronger with both Iyer and Ashwin back,” Hogg said.
“DC are only team that can knock MI off and stop them from winning a sixth IPL title. DC are the best team that I have seen on paper. With their balance, they can take on the might of MI and CSK,” he added.
Hogg further spoke about the positive aspects of the team, mentioning the contribution of pacer Avesh Khan in the first phase of the tournament. He said,
“In the bowling, Avesh Khan in the first phase was sensational. DC do not have enough depth among Indian quicks but Avesh lifted them in the first half. So Ricky Ponting (coach) will be a little comfortable with him in the line-up knowing that he is a little big more confident now.”