New Delhi: Kings XI Punjab mentor Virender Sehwag had quite a few queries waiting for his reply until Monday. The topmost being the decision to name R Ashwin as the KXIP skipper for the 11th edition of the IPL. The fans had been fuming over his decision as they had expected local boy Yuvraj Singh to once again take over, but taking the team's long-term future into consideration, Sehwag decided to hand the KXIP reins in Ashwin's hands. Sehwag, likewise his batting, took to Facebook to clear the air behind Ashwin's selection.
"I always thought that if someone should become the captain it should be a bowler because I am a great fan of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Kapil Dev. These were bowlers, who went on to become captains and did really well for the team. I'm sure Ashwin would wonders for Kings XI Punjab this season," Sehwag said.
Sehwag has been vocal about his liking towards bowlers being captains, believing they have a better understanding of the match situations. And hence the decision to burden Ashwin with the responsibility. Interestingly, it will be the first time that the 31-year-old will be seen leading a side. His fruitful ten years of IPL have passed under the leadership of MS Dhoni, featuring for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant.
Ashwin has long demonstrated the quality of being a quick learner and has used his experience coupled with smart thinking to turn many a game. Also, Ashwin's flexible attitude adjusting according to the need of the hour seems to have strengthened his case. Ashwin rose to the cricketing scene as an orthodox off-spinner but it will not be wrong to say that he added a plethora of variations up his sleeve. Sehwag duly attests to that.
"The best quality in Ashwin is that he is very smart and he can change the bowlers very quickly. He understands the T20 format better than anybody else because he used to bowl in Powerplay, he used to bowl in slog overs. So, he knows what to do in T20 format," Sehwag quoted.
Excited to have got the opportunity, the Chennai spinner ensured the fans that he will give his best to make sure the team remains in good stead. He highlighted the fact that he would like to have a jovial atmosphere going in the dressing room and is banking majorly on Yuvraj.
"I'm really excited to take this responsibility. It's not been coming quite easily and it is Viru pa's trust that got me here. For me, it is somebody who has given me the opportunity for the first time to try and showcase my captaincy skills, which I did for the first time when I was 20-year-old and ever since this is the next opportunity that I've got," Ashwin said.
In one of his quotes, Ashwin even mentioned that he was betting heavily on Yuvraj due to his explosive approach and rich experience. Not just his batting, Ashwin acknowledged Yuvraj's talent as a bowler, the 'piechucker', saying he could be play an important role in turning the match around. "Yuvi paaji has been really experinced and an important cog in the wheel. Also his bowling too can be handy as he has shown in the past that his piechuckers have been extremely tedious to handle," Ashwin said.
"I will definitely give my best, have a lot of fun and try and play exciting brand of cricket this year. We look Punjabi, we play Punjabi," Ashwin said.