India opener KL Rahul on Thursday was named as the captain of the Indian Premier League franchise Kings XI Punjab at the end of the auction.

Team coach Anil Kumble confirmed the development and Rahul, in a video, said that he was happy to take up the new role. “This is the right moment for Rahul in his career [to become captain]. This leadership role will really help him grow,” Kumble said.

Spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin had captained the side in the last two seasons but the 2014 finallists failed to make to the playoffs on both occasions.

Ahead of the auction, Ashwin was traded to Delhi Capitals. Kings XI Punjab had a good day at the auction in Kolkata.

They snapped up Australian big-hitter Glenn Maxwell for Rs 10.75 crore. West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell also joined the squad for Rs 8.50 crore. Young India pacer Ishan Porel, Deepak Hooda and New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham were among the other big names who joined the Punjab outfit.