Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Kings XI Punjab mentor Virender Sehwag has revealed that India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was appointed as the franchise’s skipper for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) since he “always thought that a bowler should be made the captain”.
Ashwin, who has never captained an IPL team in the past, is one of the new faces in the team’s squad as he was purchased for INR 7.6 crores at the IPL auction last month.
Sehwag admitted that veteran all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was also in the running, but Ashwin was selected for the leadership role in the end.
“I always thought that a bowler should be made the captain because I was a big fan of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Kapil Dev,” he was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “I thought a bowler would be the best candidate for our team’s captaincy. Yuvraj was also there in our minds. But a lot of votes from our support staff and owners went to Ashwin.”
Ashwin, who won two IPL titles during his time with the Chennai Super Kings, admitted that he is looking to leading the Kings XI Punjab, who have yet to taste IPL glory.
“I see it as a natural progression for having played cricket for so long at the top level,” he said. “I have always felt I had it in me (to be captain). WV Raman identified me as a captain when I was 21 years old. I ended up winning a few titles for TN. But for a bowler to become a captain, which is not something natural in the country, this is something fascinating.”
Ashwin added that he will rely on his “tactical and strategic sharpness” during the tournament, which begins on April 7.
“Being a bowler captain, I will be able to understand the bowlers and field changes,” he said. “There are so many numbers and stats that can be crunched in T20s. I believe in certain amount of preparation before a match.
“I also believe my tactical and strategic sharpness which might stand me in good stead. I think I have got enough experience inside the dressing room to be able to fall back on to with those decisions.”
The Kings XI will kick off their IPL campaign against the Delhi Daredevils on April 8.