After a long wait, Kings XI Punjab finally revealed their captain for the upcoming seasons of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) – Ravichandran Ashwin.
In a Facebook LIVE video with KXIP’s Director of Cricket Operations, Virender Sehwag, Ashwin was anointed as the King of Kings to lead the sher into battle – and for good reason.
“I always thought a bowler should captain a side because I was always a fan of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Kapil Dev. All of them had a lot of success in leading their teams and I hope Ashwin will do wonders for KXIP,” reasoned Viru Paaji.
“The best quality in Ashwin is he is very smart, and he can make bowling changes quickly. He himself is used to bowling in powerplays and in the slog overs, so he knows exactly what is needed to be done.”
Ashwin will be the 10th skipper for the Punjabi outfit, and the list has some stalwarts’ names, like Yuvraj Singh, Kumar Sangakarra and Adam Gilchrist. Ashwin however, will assume the role for the first time in his career.
“I am really excited about taking up this responsibility. For me, it is the first time somebody has given me an opportunity to showcase my captaincy skills. We will look Punjabi and play Punjabi,” said the wily off-spinner.
A different captain
A lot of the fan sentiment leaned towards getting Yuvraj Singh back into the skipper’s shoes, especially since he had led the side in 2008 with good results. However, Sehwag likes doing things his own way as we all know, and they come off well too!
“90 percent of the people thought it is Yuvraj Singh, but I wanted my captain to be different,” he asserted.
A Yuvraj without the extra burdens of captaincy could be a blessing in disguise for the southpaw, and also for the team as a whole – allowing the flamboyant batsman to be at his attacking best. Ashwin shared the same sentiments, and also expressed delight at the fact that he can always turn towards Yuvi Pa when in need of advice.
“I am a huge admirer of him (Yuvraj). I would love to see him play freely and hit big shots. Also, I would want to see the pie-chucker in Yuvi Pa because I want to be innovative in the way I do things,” Ashwin said. “He will play a huge part in the team and because he has already led the KXIP side, I will go to him for any advice I will need.”
By getting their man and building a strong side around him, KXIP now have a Ravi-shing opportunity to get their hands on their first IPL title. See what we did there?