Following the announcement of Ravichandran Ashwin’s exit from the Kings XI Punjab franchise, KL Rahul is likely to take up the leadership role in the 2018 season. Under Ashwin’s captaincy, the Punjab-based franchise finished in seventh and sixth in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
There had been reports implicating earlier of Ashwin’s movement to Delhi Capitals, and the deal for the same was finalized on Monday. Furthermore, as per media reports, KL Rahul could find himself leading the franchise. Since playing for Punjab, the Karnataka batsman has been in blistering touch. In the opening spot, Rahul has averaged over 50 in the two seasons he featured for Kings XI Punjab, having scored 659 and 593 runs in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
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For the time being, there exists no official announcement of the same. In the previous month, the franchise’s co-owner Ness Wadia did announce that Ashwin would stay with Punjab, naming him as one of the key players. He conceded that Ashwin brings a lot of value to the team, and there is no question of letting him go.
“Ashwin is an integral part of the team and he will continue to remain so. You know the value Ashwin brings to the team. There is no question of letting him go.” Wadia said as quoted by Sportstar.
Under Ashwin, Kings XI Punjab have followed a standard template. They go on to win five-six games on the trot only to lose the same number of games in the back end of the season. The skipper has looked clueless against quality teams. His over-aggressiveness in certain situations have also been received with widespread criticism. Not only his captaincy, but his bowling has also proved ineffective in inspiring his troops.
Apart from this, Kings XI Punjab have named a revamped coaching staff. Mike Hesson stepped down as the coach of the franchise with Anil Kumble succeeding him in the role. The player auction for the IPL 2020 will take place on 19th of December in Kolkata.