India spin-bowling veteran, Ravi Ashwin, who was recently named the captain of the IPL 2018 franchise, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), for the eleventh season of the Indian Premier League, said that he has always had a natural leadership skill, as he has previously captained the Tamil Nadu side in Vijay Hazare, winning games for the team. Ashwin added that although he was considered a leader, for a bowler to become a team captain was always special.
A bowler becoming a captain is very fascinating, says the KXIP captain for IPL 2018, Ravi Ashwin
Speaking about his newly appointed role of a captain for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for the IPL 2018 season, Ravi Ashwin said, as reported by the Deccan Chronicle, that having played cricket for so many years and under so many captains, the off-spinner has acquired a lot of positives in his career. He said,
“Having played cricket for so long at the highest level, I see it (leading an IPL side) as a natural progression for me. Former TN coach WV Raman identified me as a captain when I was 21 years old. I ended up winning the Vijay Hazare. Obviously, I have been touted as a leader. But a bowler becoming a captain is not something very natural in our country and it’s something very fascinating and pleasing for me.”
A bowler captain will have added advantage of getting in the mind of bowlers, according to Ashwin
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) mentor, Virender Sehwag, said that he always wanted a bowler to lead the Punjab team in the Indian Premier League. Ashwin said his “tactical acumen” would always keep him up and scheming in IPL 2018.
“The plus (bowler captain) will be understanding the bowler and figuring out if a field change is really required. I will try to create the best environment for the team. Sehwag said that bowlers’ captain will work really well. I will be looking to pick his brains. He is very instinctive and a mentally strong person,” added Ravi Ashwin.
Ashwin has played under many captains
“I have played under four, five captains in my career so far. All of these captains have a lot of positives in them. I don’t see anything negative because losing a game doesn’t mean somebody has gone wrong somewhere as a captain. It’s all about trying to be different and also taking positives and attributes from each one of them,” said the 31-year-old off-spinner, who is also reported to have been working on a new skill, leg-spin bowling.
Kings XI Punjab had eyes on Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik
KXIP team mentor Virender Sehwag revealed that there were two players that the Kings XI Punjab management had targeted during the IPL 2018 auction in January, as far as captaincy was concerned. The former India batting opener said,
“When we went to the auction, we were targeting two candidates for the role – Ashwin and DK (Dinesh Karthik). We missed out on picking DK, but we bagged our first choice — Ashwin.”