Playing the Indian Premier League throws up new challenges, and while Ravichandran Ashwin will be treading on uncharted territory as captain of Kings XI Punjab for IPL 2018, the veteran off-spinner is not considering the franchise-based tournament a platform for a comeback into the Indian team. Ashwin was a lynchpin of the Indian spin-bowling attack in all formats before he, along with Ravindra Jadeja, were upstaged from the limited-overs formats by the wrist-spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
Ashwin, who was appointed KXIP captain on Tuesday ahead of names like Yuvraj Singh and Aaron Finch, last took the field in a coloured India jersey in July, 2017.
"I am not looking at this IPL for an India comeback. I go into the IPL with a mindset that I have every year. This season I have a big responsibility (captaining KXIP) and I am ready for the challenge. I am not looking for anything else. It (India comeback) will happen if it has to," Ashwin told PTI.
Ashwin and Jadeja's selection for next year's World Cup seems unlikely at the moment with Chahal and Yadav doing a fine job for India.
However, Ashwin's performance in the IPL will hold the key for him not just as captain but also as a senior bowler who is ready to unleash leg-spin in the tournament to be played in April-May.
It is still early days for deciding on team combinations but one of Ashwin's challenges w...