IPL 2018: R Ashwin appointed Kings XI Punjab captain

IPL 2018: Kings XI Punjab, on Monday morning, appointed Ravichandran Ashwin as their captain.

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R Ashwin (PTI)

IPL 2018: Kings XI Punjab, on Monday morning, appointed Ravichandran Ashwin as their captain. It is an interesting choice given that the team is full of stars like Yuvraj Singh, Aaron Finch, David Miller and Chris Gayle who have prior experience of leading a team. Ashwin, on the other hand, has been out of India’s limited overs’ side since the ICC Champions Trophy last year and has no captaincy experience at the international level. He, however, showed his leadership skills during the Tamil Nadu Premier League. The first match of the eight season of the Indian Premier League will be played on April 7.

Announcing his appointment, the Kings XI Punjab, on its official website said that Aswin is an avid reader of the game and will bring huge experience into leading the side. It hoped that the new captain, having been part of IPL winning team two times in the past will be hungrier for the third title.

“With a number of explosive players such as Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh and Aaron Finch in the side, it will take someone with the calm composure of Ashwin to be able to make tough decisions when the chips are down. He is no mug with the bat either. He has been seen contributing valuable runs to the team’s cause while playing for India and will certainly do the same for Kings XI, ” the team said in its official website.

Ashwin has played in 111 IPL matches, taking 100 wickets at an economy rate of of 6.55.

A couple of days back, Rajasthan Royals had admitted Steve Smith as captain for IPL 2018. His appointment as the captain did not come as a surprise. In last year’s IPL tournament, he was the leading run-scorer for the erstwhile, Rising Pune Supergiant. He has been a part of Royals earlier too after being bought by the franchise in 2014.

Speaking on his appointment, Smith said, “It is great to be back at [Rajasthan] Royals. I was with the franchise a few years back. We had a great time. Thanks for giving me the honour and privilege of leading the Royals. I am looking forward to have a successful campaign. Looking forward to working with Warne.”

His appointment as captain was announced by former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne on Saturday. Warne is the mentor of Rajasthan Royals this season.

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First published on: 26-02-2018 at 15:39 IST