Kings XI Punjab's newly elected captain Ravichandran Ashwin believes that his method of captaincy will help the team and players grow in the upcoming 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The spinner, who will take charge for the first time as Punjab's new skipper, feels that when it comes to leadership, his experience with the senior players will help him in his new stint in the IPL.
In an Exclusive interview with India TV, the Team India spinner said he will 'incorporate' the experience he has learnt playing with the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni and the current skipper Virat Kohli.
"Every captain's style is different and I will use the Chennai Super Kings' experience. I will not copy MS Dhoni's calm and cool quotent or Virat Kohli's aggreson, I'll lead differently and apply the experience I've learnt under Viru pajji (Virender Sehwag) and Gautam Gambhir, the senior players and incorporate them in my leadership qualities." Ashiwn told India TV.
#IPL2018 I will develop my own style of captaincy, will not copy any one, says @lionsdenkxip captain @ashwinravi99 in a freewheeling chat with @samiprajguru on #CricketKiBaat pic.twitter.com/nm2yJqasFX— India TV (@indiatvnews) April 2, 2018
Ashiwn has lauded the Kings XI Punjab team mentor Virender Sehwag on electing a bowler as a captain as it is he who understands the pressure and the type of play in any kind of condition. The spinner admitted that not every match can be won but the team can learn from the mistakes and apply them for the rest of the campaign.
"When we play for Team India, the pressure is different than the IPL as the concentration will be on not losing the matches. We can't win every game. Our losses will determine our campaign and how we react to every loss we suffer, we will learn from that. And I think, a bowler will know how another bowler mindset be like and it's quite difficult to make a comeback after being thrashed, so I laud Sehwag's decision on making a bowler a captain".
On being asked on how winning the IPL twice with Chennai Super Kings will help him in leading Punjab, Aswhin replied that with a new squad, the team will want to build a strong unit with the same players in the next few years.
"CSK had a good trade that they had a core Indian player in the team. It was more of an International team and were very strong. We want to build a strong unit over the past three to five years and win the IPL as we have built a team for the next three years," said Ashwin on winning the IPL trophy.
The 31-year old spinner stated that he doesn't want to pressurise his players on winning games as that might disbalance their game. The spinner would rather see the players enjoy on field instead of playing under pressure.
"The team is as good as a captain and my mom use to say this, 'desperation will kill ambition', we don't want to put the pressure of a winning mentality. We want the players to enjoy and give them the freedom to enjoy".
With a few huge names in the team such as Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, David Miller and KL Rahul, Ashwin feels that he won't feed their egos but will allow them to do what they do best on field.
"It's not such a big challenge handling the egos of the big stars in our team. Yuvi wants to play in the 2019 World Cup and Chris wants to prove that he still has the abilty to perform, they want to see something forward. They want to prove themselves. They do not have to be told on how to perform and we will trust them with what they are doing".
The Kings XI Punjab's batting line-up has major stars where as the bowlers have been described as 'different', however, the skipper sees the positives in the bowling unit and describes them as the 'X-factor' in the team.
"I believe that we have our X-factors in our bowling line up as we have Andrew Tye, Ben Dorsh, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and I will try back the bowlers as I am confident that the batsmen will perform".
"Momentum and believe is very important in the IPL. Every player has to play and the team should have the confidence of making a comeback from any situation. I believe that this team has matchwinners."
On being asked, what is his major area of focus in the 11th edition of the IPL season, be it the play-offs, qualifiers or finals and Ashwin responded by saying: 'fun'.
"I want the team to have fun, enjoy the campaign build a friendship and lead the team to excellence", concluded Ashiwn.
Ashwin will lead the new and improved Kings XI Punjab in the 11th edition of the season as they face rivals and Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi Daredevils on April 8.