Ravichandran Ashwin has vowed to be at his unpredictable best in his first stint as IPL captain - for Kings XI Punjab - in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. The offspinner stated that he's looking forward to the challenge and wouldn't shy away from consulting Yuvraj Singh or Virender Sehwag, both of whom have led sides before in the tournament.
"It is a new challenge. You'll not be able to predict my next move. All players you think are going to open, will play in the middle order & all the middle-order batsmen will open. I'll try and stay as unpredictable as possible," he told ANI on Tuesday (March 13).
Ashwin, who led Tamil Nadu to the Vijay Hazare title in 2009, was named captain after Sehwag, the team mentor, wanted a bowler to be at the helm of affairs. Ashwin reckoned he'll try to use all his experience to be proficient in the role. " For me, it is all about incorporating whatever I have learnt over the years," he said at the jersey launch.
"I have played under a lot of captains including Viru paaji. My focus is on being strategically ahead of other captains.
"Both Yuvi and Viru paaji have been my captains at different stages of my career. I played under Yuvi paaji in my first Challenger Trophy and he has played a big role in whoever I am today. Learning from experiences and taking advice is something I am never averse to."
At the close of the recent player auction, it appeared as if Kings XI Punjab missed a big trick by not recruiting a specialist wicketkeeper. It is likely that the side will throw the keeping gloves to part-timer KL Rahul, or even Aaron Finch, as per coach Brad Hodge. However, Ashwin felt not having a full-time wicketkeeper isn't going to hurt his side.
"Lots of teams have weaknesses and every team will try and overcome that. Most people see this (lack of specialist wicket-keeper) as a weakness for KXIP. On an average, in T20 games, every keeper gathers only six balls. So if our keeper can take those six balls, we will be fine," he said.
Kings XI Punjab begin their new decade in the IPL against Delhi Daredevils in the national capital on April 8.