Ravi Ashwin, the veteran Indian spinner, was roped in by the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in 2018. The popular franchise shelled out a massive INR 7.6 crores for the Tamil Nadu cricketer. Furthermore, he was also made the captain. Unfortunately, he couldn’t change Punjab’s wretched fortunes in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In both seasons, KXIP was promising at the start, but couldn’t be consistent.
Ashwin was innovative in his approach and at times made decisions, which raised quite a few eyebrows. It’s recently been learned that the tweaker may get traded to either Rajasthan Royals (RR) or Delhi Capitals (DC). It means that KXIP’s captaincy conundrum is set to resurface. Nevertheless, the team has quite a few useful names in the current squad itself, who can don the captain’s hat.
Here are three players, who can lead Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) if Ashwin goes to another team
KL Rahul. (Photo: IANS)
KL Rahul made a move to the franchise from the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2018 and has turned out to be a stalwart in the lineup. KXIP failed to make the playoffs in both the instances, but the Karnataka batsman kept making merry.
In his first season for KXIP, Rahul scored 659 runs at 54.91 and followed it up with 593 runs in the subsequent season at an impressive average of 53.90. He scored his maiden IPL century against Mumbai Indians (MI).
In both the seasons, he showed responsibility and gave an account of his prudence in the middle. Unlike in the RCB, where he batted in the middle order and didn’t use to get adequate chances, he is a regular fixture in KXIP. The 26-year-old batter has a calm head on his shoulders and that makes him a decent pick as the captain.
Karun Nair plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Karun Nair featured in 13 games for the Punjab-based franchise in 2018, his first season with the team. Scoring 301 runs at 25.08, he didn’t disappoint. However, in the previous season, he got to play only a solitary game, something which surprised many.
If Ashwin gets traded then, Nair is one who could be given the leadership role owing to his experience in the area of captaining a side. Back in 2017, Nair was appointed as the stand-in-skipper of the Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals, in place of an injured Zaheer Khan.
He has previously served as the vice-captain of the Karnataka team. Moreover, Nair has led the Mysuru Warriors in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL). The 27-year-old Nair was also one of the leaders in the Dr. (Capt) K Thimmappiah memorial tournament in July.
David Miller. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)
David Miller has played all his 79 matches in the IPL of the Kings XI. Back in 2016, he was appointed as the skipper of the team, but couldn’t quite impress. The southpaw has been excellent as a batter, but he had his travails in the role of captaincy.
In 2017, KXIP lost five out of their first six games, and Miller was replaced as the skipper. Miller was replaced by Murali Vijay midway through the season. Earlier this year, he led the South African team in a couple of T20Is versus Pakistan.
Faf du Plessis was rested for the games and Miller recorded his maiden win in his very first contest as the captain. For his unbeaten 65, he was Player of the Match. Though KXIP has already tried him as a skipper, the franchise may go back to him, bearing in mind his experience and knowledge about the franchise.
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