Kings XI Punjab the Indian Premier League franchise has announced Ravichandran Ashwin as the captain of their side for the 2018 season of IPL.
Ashwin was purchased by the Punjab based side for a sum of 7.6 cr in the IPL auctions that just concluded in Bangalore in January.
Ashwin has fallen off as far India’s limited overs scheme of things is concerned recently but he brings with him the experience of playing a substantial role with Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiants franchisees as well as for India in the past.
In a video that was shared by the Kings XI Punjab through their various social media feed, Ashwin was heard saying “I am really excited to take on the responsibility.It was not an easy decision to make, but it was Viru pa’s (Virender Sehwag) trust that helped me accept it. I last led aside when I was 20 years old, and this is the first time I have got the opportunity again. So I’m really excited and I am looking forward to playing with some great players like Yuvi pa (Yuvraj Singh), Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, the universe boss, and a lot of others”
“One thing you can be sure, I will never be predictable (as captain).”
Sehwag, the team director, and mentor explained that he always wanted a bowler to lead the side.
“We bought some very good players in the auction, but the question that has been doing the rounds was: Who will be the captain?” Sehwag, sitting alongside Ashwin, said. “90 percent of the people felt Yuvraj Singh would be a great option, but I felt my choice for captain has to be someone a bit different. I always wanted a bowling-captain, because I was a big fan of the likes of Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, and Waqar Younis.”
In my personal opinion though, Kings XI has basically given an engineer’s brain more thinking to do. Understanding Ashwin he likes things that way.
Being out of favor with the Indian selectors, Ashwin will be doing his best to perform for his team and show the world there is still limited overs cricket left in him.
Sehwag further stated, “The thing with Ashwin is, he is very smart, he knows when to change the bowlers, he understands the T20 format very well. He has bowled in Power Play and in slog overs, so he understands those crucial points of the match very well.”
Finishing off on a light note, Ashwin pledged to pick up some Punjabi while with the side.
“My Hindi needs to improve a little, though I quite like trying to speak the language,” he quipped. “Maybe this stint will help me learn some Punjabi too, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Punjab opens their campaign against Delhi Daredevils on April 8 in New Delhi.