With skipper Shreyas Iyer ruled out of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), former Australian spinner Brad Hogg feels Delhi Capitals will miss his leadership skills and a stable middle-order batsman.
The Capitals appointed wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant as the captain of the side for the upcoming season of the IPL. Pant will step in as skipper for the 14th edition of the tournament, for the injured Iyer, who had hurt his left shoulder during the recently concluded India-England ODI series. Hogg feels Iyer's exclusion from the Delhi Capitals side has also affected the team's balance going into the cash-rich league.
"Mumbai Indians was a big hurdle, Delhi Capitals couldn't get over last season. They played them four times, and they lost four times. They have to rectify this year," Hogg said in the latest video uploaded on his YouTube channel, HoggsVlog.
"The other hurdle for DC is that they don't have Shreyas Iyer. They are going to miss his leadership, they are going to miss his stability in the middle-order. But him not being there will also affect the balance of this team," he added.
The former Australian spinner has straight away included both Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith in Delhi Capitals' probable playing XI and expects the top four batsmen to drive in fourth gear right from the word go.
"One of their weak areas last year was that they weren't dominant in the powerplay. So one of these (Dhawan, Shaw, Rahane, Smith) players should step up and take on the game and be more aggressive," said Hogg
"Delhi Capitals' bowling line up is strong and those (Patel, Ashwin, Rabada, Nortje) four were the reason they reached the final last year," he added.
The IPL is slated to begin on April 9 with Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) locking horns in the tournament opener. Delhi Capitals will begin their campaign against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 10.