Chennai: R. Ashwin who has been named the captain of Kings XI Punjab for IPL Season 11 said he had always felt that he had leadership skill. “Having played cricket for so long at the highest level, I see it (leading an IPL side) as a natural progression for me. Former TN coach WV Raman identified me as a captain when I was 21 years old. I ended up winning the Vijay Hazare. Obviously, I have been touted as a leader. But a bowler becoming a captain is not something very natural in our country and it’s something very fascinating and pleasing for me,” added Ashwin.
Kings XI mentor Virender Sehwag said he always wanted a bowler to lead the side. Ashwin said his “tactical acumen” would hold him in good stead. “The plus (bowler captain) will be understanding the bowler and figuring out if a field change is really required. I will try to create the best environment for the team. Sehwag said that bowlers’ captain will work really well. I will be looking to pick his brains. He is very instinctive and a mentally strong person,” he added.
“I have played under four, five captains in my career so far. All of these captains have a lot of positives in them. I don’t see anything negative because losing a game doesn’t mean somebody has gone wrong somewhere as a captain. It’s all about trying to be different and also taking positives and attributes from each one of them,” he said.
Sehwag revealed that there were two players the management had targeted during the auction in January keeping the role of captaincy in mind. “When we went to the auction, we were targeting two candidates for the role - Ashwin and DK (Dinesh Karthik),” he said. “We missed out on picking DK, but we bagged our first choice — Ashwin.”...