India’s premier Test spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be one of the few bowlers to lead an IPL franchise this season. Meanwhile, he will lead the Kings XI Punjab side in the upcoming edition. Further, it will be a test for him not only as a bowler in the white-ball game but also as a captain.

Ashwin is looking forward to making his way back in the limited formats of the game. Ashwin last played an ODI game back in June 2017 against West Indies. Since then, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have dominated the spin department.

However, he is keen to come back and is working on his variations. This IPL will be a huge platform for the off-spinner to make a strong case for himself.

Image Credit: PTI

Yuvraj played a significant role:

Ashwin, who has never led a team in a T20 game admits he will take advice from Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag. Both Yuvraj and Sehwag has led teams in various tournaments.

Both Viru paji and Yuvi have been my captains at different stages of my career. Yuvraj Singh was my captain in the first Challenger series that I played. He played a big role in whoever I am today. Learning from them and taking advice is something I will never be averse to,” Ashwin said.

The first time I became captain I was 21 years old. Many seniors went to play the ICL and there was a huge void in the Tamil Nadu team. The coach (WV Raman) told me to lead the side. It was a different experience and I have a decent captaincy record too. But this is the first time I am captaining a T20 side,” he added.

Ravichandran Ashwin, IPL 2018, Kings XI Punjab, Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, IPL Auction 2018, India Cements, RTMs, Chennai Super Kings,
Credit: BCCI.

Dhoni’s influence:

Ashwin has played under MS Dhoni in IPL for Chennai Super Kings and Pune Supergiant. However, in 2017, Steve Smith led Pune, but Ashwin missed the tournament. Talking about similarity with Dhoni’s style of captaincy, Ashwin said he would do his job.

I will go about my job and you guys can decide whether there is any similarity (with Dhoni). For me, it’s all about trying to incorporate whatever I have learned all these years and be strategically ahead of the rest,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ashwin added that he would have extra responsibilities as a bowler. Further, he dismissed of being under pressure with the added responsibility.

You can associate leadership with pressure and power but I see it as a lot of responsibility. If you can use that in helping your teammates, then I think the team will be in very good shape,” he said.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Daniel Vettori, Monty Panesar, IPL 2018, India, Ravindra Jadeja,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In T20 cricket, every bowler goes for runs, irrespective of his quality. So, if I can get a wrap around that and shape the outlook of the team while approaching a T20 game, I think half the job will be done. It’s not just today or tomorrow but we have a lot of years ahead of us. We will approach it that way,” Ashwin added.

Meanwhile, team mentor Virender Sehwag is confident of having a good season ahead. He admitted of having three to four good Indian players who are capable of taking responsibility. In conclusion, he accreditated as the best Kings XI Punjab team in the last ten years.

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