Newly appointed KXIP captain R Ashwin has already shown immense faith in the experience and talent of his veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh for the upcoming season of IPL 2018.
Ashwin was announced as KXIP captain for IPL 2018 by Virender Sehwag during a Facebook Live chat on February 26th. Ashwin previously represented Chennai Super Kings from 2009-2015 and Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016.
Yuvraj on the other hand was bought by KXIP for his base price of Rs. 2 crore. Yuvraj had captained the franchise for the first season of IPL in 2008.
Ashwin praised Yuvraj and said in an interview with India Today, "For me, it is all about Yuvi paaji trying to go out there and entertain the fans. It is very important we play an aggressive brand of cricket. And as far as I'm concerned, I would love to see him play freely and hit those big shots. I'm looking to give him as many overs as possible. I think he will be one of the best batsmen in our team."
He continued, "More than anything else, I would love to see the pie chucker in Yuvi paaji. One of my strong points is to try and be innovative and try and change things up. And Yuvi paaji will be a very, very internal part of our team. He will be a very big lynchpin for me to try and go for sort of advice on the field.”
"The pie chucker in him is somebody that I really like. Many great batsmen including the likes of Kevin Pietersen couldn't play him properly. We can utilise that and get a few big wickets this time," Ashwin joked.
Ashwin called Afghanistan’s 16-year-old mystery spinner Mujeeb Zadran as a surprise asset and said, "He could well be that X-factor we are looking for, but having said that, he is a young guy and I really look forward to look (at) him up close."
Talking about his playing XI, Ashwin said, "You've got Chris Gayle, you 've got Aaron Finch, both of whom can open the batting. Aaron Finch is batting lower down the order for Australia, that is some sort of an option which we can look to create. Generally, combinations with decent number of foreign bowlers and foreign batsmen - two and two will be a good combination. But with Stoinis around, we can look at playing three and one (overseas players). One thing you can be sure - I'll never be predictable."