Premier Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to be named as the captain of Indian Premier League franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for IPL 2018 season, set to take place in April and May this year. The Preity Zinta-owned franchise shelled out a whopping INR 7.6 crore during the recent mega auction in Bangalore to secure Ashwin’s services and have him onboard for the new season.
Ravichandran Ashwin set to captain KXIP in IPL 2018
“In all probability, Ashwin will lead the Kings XI Punjab team. However, a final decision will be made only after Virender Sehwag (KXIP team director and mentor) returns from Switzerland,” a source from Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) told Mid-Day.
The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) website also has a cryptic post which suggests that Ravichandran Ashwin will indeed be their captain for the forthcoming IPL 2018 season and is a front-runner for the post,
“Ashwin might not come with a lot of captaincy experience like some of the other contenders, but when it comes to accurately reading the game, this intelligent tweaker is right up there. With a decade worth of IPL experience under his belt, including two seasons as a part of the winning side, Ashwin is no stranger to tasting success, and also replicating it time and again.”
The KXIP team management had to indulge in a fierce bidding war with Ravichandran Ashwin’s former team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals, to bring in the spin-specialist at the IPL 2018 player auction, suggesting that they went in for the World’s number 3 Test all-rounder with a specific vision in mind, quite possibly a leadership role.
Various reports have also suggested that the Punjab-based team, KXIP, have also shortlisted players like KL Rahul, Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh and Axar Patel (their only retained player) for the captain’s role but Ravichandran Ashwin is leading the race with a final decision set to be made soon in the coming days.
Ravichandran Ashwin, thought to be good reader of the game of cricket, also recently expressed his desire to captain a team in the IPL.
“As of now, nothing has been spoken about regarding captaincy. I have done well for TN in the past as skipper. I haven’t led TN 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,” he said ahead of Tamil Nadu’s Vijay Hazare trophy campaign in Chennai.