When the Thalaiva of Spin, Ravichandran Ashwin, was picked up by Kings XI Punjab, the team bosses and fans couldn’t contain their excitement. With a proven record in the VIVO Indian Premier League, and years of international experience under his belt, Ashwin seemed like the ideal man to spin the KXIP campaign in the right direction this season. However, one man who was the most excited by this big news was none other than the Gujarat da munda, KXIP’s only retained player, Axar Patel.

Young Axar has embraced the Punjabi spirit of playing with all your heart since making his way into KXIP and has proven his effectiveness in the shortest format of the game. This season he will have the experienced Ashwin to share the dressing room with and he will no doubt use this opportunity to learn as much as he can from the wily spin giant.

“I know Ashwin since I made my debut for India,” said Axar while speaking exclusively to kxip.in. “I think this familiarity I have with him is a huge advantage.”

As most know, spinners like nothing better than to hunt in pairs and tighten the screws on the opponents from both ends till they are forced to do something out of the ordinary. With this in mind, Axar felt that he had found the perfect partner to bowl with this season.

“I know that Ashwin is an attacking bowler,” Axar pointed out. “His role is to pick wickets, and my role is generally to contain the flow of runs and build pressure from one end. So, it will make for a good partnership. We have done that for India too in the past, and will look to continue the same for KXIP in the coming season.”

While Axar has played under a number of captains in the past, he admitted that the experienced Ashwin will bring something new to the table when it comes to captaincy. He also echoed Sehwag’s sentiments that a bowling captain knows how to read the batsman’s mind and set fields accordingly.

“Ashwin is really experienced and I am glad that he has now become the captain. I think if a bowler is the captain it is a much better option because a bowler knows what the batsman is thinking and can make changes according to the situation the game is in,” he reasoned.