Mumbai: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) underwent a massive overhaul during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 player auction in January that saw the franchise rope in many star players ahead of the upcoming edition of the tournament.
The first big buy for the Preity Zinta co-owned side was of India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was snapped up for a whopping price of Rs 7.6 crores.
But having acquired a lot of experience under MS Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings (CSK), along with clinching two titles, the off-spinner could now lead KXIP from the front.
“In all probability, Ashwin will lead the Kings XI Punjab team. However, a final decision will be made only after Virender Sehwag (team director and mentor) returns from Switzerland," a Kings XI Punjab source was quoted as saying by Mid-Day.
KXIP hefty price tag signalled the trust they had in the Tamil Nadu bowler and with almost 10 years of experience in the cash-rich league, Ashwin emerges as one of the big names to take over the captaincy mantle. KXIP have also shortlisted Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch and KL Rahul for captaincy.
However, on the official KXIP website page, the IPL franchise recently dropped a huge hint that Ashwin is the favourite for the desired role.
"Ashwin might not come with a lot of captaincy experience like some of the other contenders, but when it comes to accurately reading the game, this intelligent tweaker is right up there. With a decade worth of IPL experience under his belt, including two seasons as a part of the winning side, Ashwin is no stranger to tasting success, and also replicating it time and again," the message read.
The former Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) bowler also stated he is up to the task and revealed his desire to lead the side.
"As of now, nothing has been spoken about regarding captaincy. I have done well for TN in the past as skipper. I haven't led TN in the T20 format. I'm someone who will not let things run away. If at all given an opportunity, I will try to give my best," he said ahead of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Chennai.