Last Update on: February 26th, 2018 at 09:04 pm
Virender Sehwag, the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) mentor, has revealed why Ravichandran Ashwin was selected ahead of Yuvraj Singh to lead the side in the upcoming season of Indian Premier League. The former India opener stated that the decision was influenced by the franchise’s long-term vision.
Yuvraj is one of the most beloved cricketers in Punjab. Not surprisingly, he received overwhelming support from the fans to don the captain’s hat. And although Sehwag admitted it, he revealed that the support staff and owners had backed Ashwin to take the captaincy role.
Sehwag made the announcement on Monday (February 26) during a Facebook live video on the franchise’s official page. After the announcement, the batting legend was also involved in a conversation with the newly-appointed skipper.
Citing the examples of some legendary players, Sehwag also stated that he always prefers bowlers to lead the side.
“90% of our fans were saying Yuvraj Singh was the best choice. But I was looking at someone different. 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. They did very well for their teams,” Sehwag said.
“I thought a bowler would be the best candidate for our team’s captaincy. Yuvraj Singh was also there in our minds. But a lot of votes from our support staff and owners went to Ashwin,” he added.
The Nawab of Najafgarh went on to say that he did not choose his friend Yuvraj as the skipper for the betterment of the franchise in the long run.
“Yuvraj is one of my best friends. But friendship doesn’t influence my cricketing decisions. We are thinking long-term. We are looking at having Ashwin as captain for the next three to four years. However, it also depends on how the upcoming season goes for us,” he said.
Yuvraj had begun his IPL career with the Punjab-based outfit in 2008. He had led the side to the semifinal in the inaugural seasons. After leaving the franchise, he played for the likes of the now-defunct Pune Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Earlier this year, he was bought by the Kings XI at his base price of Rs 2 crore.
Meanwhile, Ashwin lavished praise on his senior teammate. The Tamil Nadu star backed the World Cup-winning star to perform well both with the bat and the ball in the upcoming season.
“It’s about Yuvi pa [Yuvraj] going there and entertaining the fans. As I said, it’s very important to play an aggressive brand of cricket. As far as I am concerned I will love to see him play freely and hit those big shots,” Ashwin said.
“I am looking to give him as many overs as possible. He will be one of the best batsmen in our team,” he added.