After Kings XI Punjab failed to make it to the playoffs for the second time in a row under R Ashwin, there were expectations that KXIP might release their skipper. Later, the reports suggested that instead of releasing, the franchise will trade him to Delhi Capitals. With Anil Kumble joining KXIP’s team management, the talks stopped but Ashwin decided to move on from KXIP and joined the Delhi-based team.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Ashwin said that owners felt he didn’t deliver, which is true. Under Ashwin, KXIP won 12 out of 28 matches that they played across two seasons. They were on the cusp of qualifying for the playoffs in IPL 2018 but their form slumped in the second half of the season and they finished at the seventh spot in the points table.
“My stint at Kings XI was fantastic to say the least. The experience enriched me in every possible way. I was given the role of captaincy, that was new boundaries I explored. Within my purview I thought I did a fair job, if not a very good job, but these decisions were not mine entirely. There are other factors, the owners did feel I haven’t delivered which is true. Because I could not take the team through to the play-offs in both the seasons,” he said.
At Delhi, Ashwin will play under a young captain Shreyas Iyer. Apart from Ashwin, Delhi also roped in senior batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who, like Ashwin, led an IPL team – Rajasthan Royals – in previous two seasons.
Before KXIP, Ashwin played for Chennai Super Kings for seven seasons. In 2016, he was roped in by Rising Pune Supergiant. Ashwin missed IPL 2017 due to sports hernia. CSK tried to buy Ashwin at the IPL 2018 auction but KXIP made a final bd of Rs 7.6 Crore.
KXIP haven’t named their captain but KL Rahul is the favourite to take over the leadership duty. Ahead of the auction, the franchise roped in Krishnappa Gowtham and Jagadeesha Suchith from Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals, respectively.