Ashwin: 'I see captaincy as a responsibility, not as power or pressure'

Ashwin will captain the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), who will also have the services of mentor Sehwag and senior player Yuvraj.

Ravichandran Ashwin has captained his state side Tamil Nadu in the past (leading them to Vijay Hazare triumph in 2009), but it will be the first time he will lead a side in the shortest format.   -  PTI

Ravichandran Ashwin made clear he would come with his own set of rules as captain of Kings XI Punjab, admitted it was a huge responsibility to lead a side and hoped the new season would bring new possibilities for the perennially struggling side, in his first media interaction since appointment on Tuesday.

“You can associate leadership with pressure or power but I see it as a responsibility. It comes with a lot of responsibility and if you can use that as a fulcrum to forming your team or helping your team-mates then I think the team will be very good this year. I see it as a lot of responsibility in terms of trying to get the bowlers up to speed, especially in this day and age in T20 when almost every bowler goes for runs irrespective of the quality of the bowler,” Ashwin said as the franchise also unveiled its new team jerseys on the occasion.

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It comes with a lot of responsibility and if you can use that as a fulcrum to forming your team or helping your team-mates then I think the team will be very good this year. I see it as a lot of responsibility in terms of trying to get the bowlers up to speed, especially in this day and age in T20 when almost every bowler goes for runs irrespective of the quality of the bowler.

However, when asked about bringing MS Dhoni's influence to the team after having played with him all through his IPL career, Ashwin evaded diplomatically. “Think I’ll go about my job and you can all make that decision whether there are any similarities in that. I have played under a lot of captains. But for me it’s all about trying to incorporate whatever I have learned over the years,” he said.

Virender Sehwag, the team's mentor, meanwhile insisted that, contrary to perceptions, it was a bowler's game in T20s and having a bowler as captain would help the team. “I think in any match it is the bowlers that win you matches by taking wickets. If the other team needs 8, 10 or 15 runs in an over to win, the match will be won by the bowler only. A bowling captain can influence other bowlers on the field in executing the planning better. I feel bowlers are better and they are better equipped to plan and strategise,” Sehwag said.

Ashwin, though, was also categorical that he was not looking at the IPL as any kind of comeback vehicle into the Indian side in limited overs.

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