In the last two editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Ravi Ashwin had the chance of captaining the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). The Punjab-franchise is one of the teams to not have gotten their hands on the coveted trophy. Back in 2018, KXIP shelled out a significant INR 7.6 crores for the Tamil Nadu-born off-spinner. Unfortunately, he couldn’t change the team’s fortunes in the T20 tournament.
In both the seasons, Punjab couldn’t make the playoffs after making promising starts in the T20 league. A number of times, Ashwin raised eyebrows with his out-of-the-box thinking and team changes. The experienced campaigner also put forth a reasonable show with the ball in hand. In the meantime, it has been learned that KXIP is mostly to trade him ahead of the upcoming edition.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Delhi Capitals (DC) are being presumed as the two franchises where Ashwin could be traded. Sourav Ganguly, the advisor of the Capitals, would be ‘more than happy to welcome Ashwin in their ranks. “We would be more than happy to have Ashwin if KXIP is ready to release him,” Ganguly was quoted as saying in Cricket Next during a promotional event in New Delhi.
Ganguly-Ponting duo doing well for the Capitals
Ganguly, also a former Indian captain, joined the Delhi-based franchise only in the previous season. There, he has had the privilege of working with Ricky Ponting, the head coach of the Capitals. The duo worked wonders for the team, which bowed out of the tournament only after the Qualifier 2.
In the round-robin stage, the Capitals, captained by Shreyas Iyer, who took over from Gautam Gambhir in 2018, finished third on the points table with 18 points from 14 matches. In the Eliminator, they defeated the Sunrisers Hyderabad by a couple of wickets in Visakhapatnam.
However, in the second Qualifier, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the runners-up, defeated them by six wickets at the very venue. As far as KXIP is concerned, they have had their issues with captaincy for quite some time. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Murali Vijay and even David Miller has led the team.
But barring George Bailey, who captained them to the finals in 2014, none has made much of an impact. If Ashwin leaves KXIP, then their captaincy conundrum is expected to resurface. In that scenario, top order batsman KL Rahul seems to be the most likely candidate for the leadership role.
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