Ravichandran Ashwin says leadership tips from Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh will help him immensely in his maiden captaincy stint in the upcoming Indian Premier League.
Ashwin will captain the Kings XI Punjab, who will also have the services of mentor Sehwag and senior player Yuvraj. “For me, it is all about incorporating whatever I have learnt over the years. I have played under lot of captains including Viru paaji. My focus is on being strategically ahead of other captains,” said Ashwin.
“Both Yuvi and Viru paaji have been my captains at different stages of my career. I played under Yuvi paaji in my first Challenger Trophy and he has played a big role in whoever I am today. Learning from experiences and taking advice is something I am never been averse to,” the off-spinner added.
Ashwin has captained his state side Tamil Nadu in the past (leading them to Vijay Hazare triumph in 2009) but it will be the first time he will lead a side in the shortest format. He knows it’s a big responsibility.
“You associate captaincy with pressure and power but for me leadership comes with a lot of responsibility. If you can use it as fulcrum that helps your team, I think we will be in good stead.”
On paper, the current squad looks the strongest in KXIP’s history but they don’t have a specialist wicket-keeper after Wriddhiman Saha’s exit. Akshdeep Nath and Lokesh Rahul can be the two part-time options for the team.
“Lots of teams have weaknesses and every team will try and overcome that. Most people see this (lack of specialist wicket-keeper) as a weakness for KXIP. On an average, in T20 games, every keeper gathers only six balls. So if our keeper can take those six balls, we will be fine,” he reasoned.
Asked whether he sees IPL as a platform for a comeback in the India limited overs team, Ashwin’s reply was a curt ‘No’.