IPL 2018: Ravichandran Ashwin responds to the possibility of captaining Kings XI Punjab
Ashwin is among the five prominent contenders for leading KXIP in the upcoming IPL season.
What's the story?
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has expressed interest in captaining Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) during the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Tamil Nadu's clash against Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the 31-year old pointed to his prior captaincy stint with his state side and hoped to deliver the goods for Kings XI if given an opportunity to lead the franchise.
When asked about the possibility of him leading KXIP, Ashwin asserted, "As of now, nothing has been spoken regarding captaincy. I have done well for Tamil Nadu in the past (as skipper). I haven't led Tamil Nadu in the T20 format. I'm someone who will not let things run away. If at all given an opportunity, I will try to give my best."
In case you didn't know...
Ashwin has had quite a few captaincy stints with Tamil Nadu in India's domestic circuit. Having made his first-class debut in the 2006/07 Ranji Trophy season, the then 21-year old off-spinner led his state side in the Gopalan Trophy.
The heart of the matter
During the 2015 edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Ashwin's leadership skills came into prominence. With his confident demeanour and proactive approach to the game, he encouraged his bowlers to come out of their comfort zones and backed them by setting attacking fields.
After his old franchise Chennai Super Kings preferred not to retain him, Ashwin was back in the auction pool for 2018. In the mega auction, he had set a base price of INR 2 crores. Kings XI Punjab bought the wily off-spinner for INR 7.6 crores.
With plenty of doubts surrounding their captain for the 2018 IPL season, KXIP's official Twitter handle added fuel to the fire by releasing a list of five prospective contenders for the post. Apart from Ashwin, the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel, Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch are also in the running for the captaincy role.
In the coming weeks, Kings XI will end the suspense and reveal their captain for the 2018 IPL season. The eleventh edition of the popular T20 tournament is set to begin on April 7 in Mumbai and the final will take place on 27 May at the same venue.
Considering that he is at the peak of his powers as a cricketer, Ashwin should be an ideal captain for Kings XI Punjab. His keen understanding of the game as well as positive mindset make him a better leadership option than the other prominent candidates.