- The 11th season of IPL will start on 7th April with Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium.
- R Ashwin will be captain of the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) team in IPL 2018 season
With IPL 2018 just around the corner, all 8 franchises are busy making final preparation before the start of the tournament on April 7th. Players are starting to settle into their new teams following the massive auction at the end of January. A lot of cricket fans were surprised to see Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) outbidding CSK to acquire the services of Ravichandran Ashwin, a player who came through to the national following successful years at MS Dhoni-led team.
KXIP’s IPL 2018 purchase of Ravichandran Ashwin was followed up by the announcement that the off-spinner will also be handed the captaincy cap for the upcoming season. The 31-year-old has previously led Tamil Nadu to a Vijay Hazare Trophy win but has never managed a T20 team. Leading the team for the 1st match will be a challenging task for Ravichandran Ashwin but he believes that he can get the group together and enable them to work as a team.
Ravichandran Ashwin is optimistic for his captaincy role in Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)
Speaking at an event to launch the official jersey of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), captain Ravichandran Ashwin said, as reported by the Deccan Chronicle,
“There is a lot of expectation regarding the team this time. We will seek to entertain our fans and hope to win. You can associate leadership to pressure and power but I see it as responsibility. I hope to shape the team into a strong unit.”
He also spoke about how his stint as the leader with Tamil Nadu back in 2008-2009 season and how the experience from there will help him in the future. Ashwin said,
“I have never captained in T20s. So this will be a new challenge. I am excited and looking forward to it. In 2008-09, many senior players of the Tamil Nadu side signed up for the breakaway Indian Cricket League. We had many juniors in the team. The players moulded into a unit, helping us win.”
The Kings XI Punjab management might have taken a slight risk in giving the captaincy to a spinner, especially with players like Aaron Finch in the squad. KXIP bought Ashwin for INR 7.6 crore and even team mentor Virender Sehwag was of the opinion that this was the right choice. He said, “A bowling captain can be more valuable than a batting captain.”
Kings XI Punjab will start their campaign on 8th April against Delhi Daredevils at Kotla Stadium.
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