MUMBAI: Ravichandran Ashwin has made bolder statements on Twitter, but on Monday he said the responsibility of leading Kings XI Punjab is an “opportunity to showcase” his captaincy skills and be “innovative”.
Having been led all his IPL life by MS Dhoni, Ashwin, now 31, said being named captain was one of the “memorable days” in his life. “I will definitely give my best and have a lot of fun and we will try and play really exciting kind of cricket this year,” Ashwin said in a Facebook chat with Kings XI team director Virender Sehwag.
Sehwag revealed that there were two players he had earmarked as captains before going into the IPL auction. Both are current Indian players, both with the experience of leading Tamil Nadu, and both good friends. One was Ashwin and the second was Dinesh Karthik, who was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Thirty-six-year-old allrounder Yuvraj Singh, Sehwag pointed out, was one of the other potential candidates for the captaincy, but keeping the age factor in mind, the Kings XI management preferred Ashwin as a “long-term” choice.
“You’ve got Chris Gayle, you ‘ve got Aaron Finch, both of whom can open the batting. Aaron Finch is batting lower down the order for Australia, that is some sort of an option which we can look to create. Generally, combinations with a decent number of foreign bowlers and foreign batsmen – two and two will be a good combination. But with Stoinis around, we can look at playing three and one (overseas players). One thing you can be sure – I’ll never be predictable.”