Ravichandran Ashwin started off his Indian Premier League 2018 campaign on a winning note as the captain of the Kings XI Punjab. His team registered a thumping six wickets victory over Gautam Gambhir led Delhi Daredevils in the opening encounter of the 11th edition of the competition. Ahead of Punjab’s next game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, KXIP batsman David Miller said that he was so far convinced about the leadership skills of Ravichandran Ashwin but it will be too early to make any judgments as the team had played only one game.

In his first ever game as a captain, Ashwin led his troops well and courtesy of KL Rahul’s sensational 14-ball 50 which made him the fastest to fifty in an IPL game, KXIP got better of Delhi Daredevils and will come into the second game high on confidence. When asked about Ashwin’s captaincy skills, Miller said the former Chennai Super Kings star is a calculated man and utilises his ability to think well about the game. The South African added that Ashwin lets players play their natural game.

“He (Ashwin) is very calculated and thinks about the game well. He is a pretty relaxed guy and lets the players do what they want to do, which is the most important thing,” Miller was quoted as saying by the PTI. When asked if Ashwin has made any differences a bowling captain, Miller reckoned it will be too early to judge him as a captain. “I may not be in a position to say whether Ashwin has made any difference as bowling captain. It is too early and we have played just a game. So far, he has gone about his job pretty well by getting fielders in right places,” said the explosive South African southpaw who will play an integral role in the IPL 2018 for Kings XI Punjab.

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The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru will host RCB’s second game against Kings XI, ahead of the clash, the inputs from the likes of KL Rahul, Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal who plays for Karnataka in the domestic circuit will be important for Punjab and Miller said the local trio was helping the team in reading the pitch conditions. It will be a stern test for Ashwin to challenge RCB’s dominance in their own backyard. While Punjab will head into the game on the back of a win, RCB will look to make amends for their loss against KKR to pick first points of the season. Both teams looked to have struck a balance in their squad and are unlikely to make a change.

For Punjab, Chris Gayle can feature this time around as he played for RCB previously and knows the Chinnaswamy pitch outright. Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul opened the batting against Delhi Daredevils, while Rahul went all guns blazing, Agarwal failed to leave an impact and can see himself getting replaced by the mighty West Indies batsman.

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