By Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin,

Leading Kings XI Punjab to victory in our first match this season was an amazing feeling and one I will always cherish. Moments like these don’t happen very easily. It took some time for my turn as captain to come but now that it is here I am really enjoying it.

One big advantage I had is that we have some really talented players in the team and equally remarkable options on the bench. Some players are new to the Indian Premier League and will flourish as time goes by. Right now, the atmosphere in the dressing room is really exciting and intense.

Daredevils may cry

We were coming together as a team for the first time against Delhi Daredevils and thankfully we started off with a win. That’s going to bring a lot of comfort to the team members and me.

As a team I thought we played a decent match. A few players will have bad days. But it is really important to embrace all the good moments from the game and try and replicate the performance we put up. After that we leave it to individuals to be responsible.

We have a new team and we will be travelling all around the country for the IPL so it’s really difficult to have a rigid strategy. We need to embrace the fact that that we will be playing in different conditions, against a top team in their ground and we will need to adapt. As the tournament progresses, we will know where we lack and where we don’t.

We don’t have any fear. It is all about going out there and having a lot of fun like we did in the first game. We want to just enjoy our cricket and the results will come.

Rising to the Royal Challenge

Most of our guys are hitting the ball really well and our bowlers are high on confidence. All of them are experienced people and that’s why I think it was important that we had a very good auction.

The trust and confidence the leadership group, like the coach and the senior players, have in everyone is remarkable. If we can infuse other players with that and make them believe that they can win then everyone’s job will become much easier. 

Our next game is against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Unlike the previous seasons, they have a very well balanced team so we cannot just pick one guy and say this guy is dangerous.

It’s really difficult to make plans about how you are going to stop such a team. It’s important to try and embrace each other’s strength and his weaknesses. Only if we come together as a pack will we be able to consistently deliver the results.