IPL: Badrinath backs Ashwin to deliver for Kings XI Punjab

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Kolkata, March 24 (IANS) Having lost his place to wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in India’s limited overs side, premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can use the Indian Premier League (IPL) platform and revive his flagging career in white-ball cricket, veteran batsman Subramaniam Badrinath has said.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket with him. I know him as a person, as a friend. He’ll be looking to do something, he will be looking this as a challenge,” said former Tamil Nadu skipper Badrinath who handed Ashwin his Ranji Trophy debut during his watch.

Ashwin was roped in by Punjab for Rs 7.60 crore, and will lead the side, which has the likes of Aaron Finch, David Miller, Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh.

“I think captaincy will give him that edge, a motivation to do something extra. You never know maybe he can lead Kings XI to a title, with an extraordinary season and his name will start coming up in the limited overs cricket.

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“I don’t think it would have come at a better time for him. He’s at that stage of his career, where he should look beyond his own cricket. Not just performing as a bowler, but what can he do more,” Badrinath said.

The last time Ashwin donned the India blue was during the West Indies tour in June last year.

He finished with one wicket from three matches with an average of 167.00 in the last year’s Champions Trophy.

“It’s a great opportunity and has come at a right time. knowing him, he will look to take this up as a challenge. It’s not going to be easy but he will be up for it,” he said.

Badrinath meanwhile picked Chennai Super Kings, coming back to IPL after serving a two-year ban, and Kolkata Knight Riders as the two best franchises.

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“KKR and CSK are probably the best franchises, as far as teams go, I can vouch for that. Only time can tell what will happen going into the tournament.”

On CSK, Badrinath’s former alleigance, the 37-year old who will be doing commentary this IPL, said: “Coming back after two years will won’t be easy. But CSK have players who have been with the past.

“It would not be a new team altogether even though they are coming back after a break. In Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, the core group is the same. They will be able to gel.”



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