IPL 2018: Is Ravichandran Ashwin all set to lead Kings XI Punjab?

Updated: Feb 08, 2018, 13:25 IST | Harit N Joshi

With Kings XI Punjab, Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to enter new territory in his cricketing career

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin

With Kings XI Punjab, Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to enter new territory in his cricketing career. The India off-spinner, who was snapped by Kings XI for Rs 7.6 crore during the two-day player mega auction in Bangalore last month, is all set to be handed the captaincy reins for the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

"In all probability, Ashwin will lead the Kings XI Punjab team. However, a final decision will be made only after Virender Sehwag (team director and mentor) returns from Switzerland," a Kings XI Punjab source told mid-day. A final announcement on KXIP's captain can be expected in a few days.

The KXIP management's fierce bidding for Ashwin in the auction suggested that they wanted the World No. 3 all-rounder (in Tests) for a purpose, and that could well be for a leadership role. Besides Ashwin, KXIP have shortlisted Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel (the only player they retained), Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch and KL Rahul for the captain's position.

On the team's website, though, they have dropped a huge hint that Ashwin is the frontrunner. "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," reads a message on www.kxip.in.

Ashwin, who wasn't retained by Chennai Super Kings in the auction, recently expressed his desire to lead 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 was quoted as saying ahead of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Chennai recently. The off-spinner is also planning to bowl leg spin in the IPL to boost his armoury.

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