Virender Sehwag might no longer interest his home team Daredevils but neighbours Kings XI Punjab still have use for him. The Delhi dasher, who went on sale for the first time in the IPL in this auction, was bought for Rs 3.2 crore by Punjab, who may have a mentoring role for him in mind.
Punjab were led by former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist till last year but will now have to pick a new captain out of the 23 players they bought in the two-day auction. On paper, either Australian T20 captain George Bailey and Sehwag look the most likely candidates for the role.
“Sehwag is one of the legends of Indian cricket. He brings a wealth of experience. Even if he is not picked as skipper, Sehwag will be expected to mentor the young players in the side,” Kings XI’s head of operations Anant Sarkaria said on Thursday.
In 79 IPL matches with the Daredevils, Sehwag has 2,174 runs at a strike-rate of over 160 with one hundred and 15 fifties. The opener, however, struggled through the 2013 season with just 295 runs in 13 games and a solitary fifty.
“Bailey has been doing a good job leading the Australian team. But it’s too early to say who will be leading the side. We have just finished building our squad and the call on the new skipper will taken in due course,” Sarkaria said.
Kings XI raised a lot of eyebrows before the auction with their decision to retain young Manan Vohra over proven names in the side, but were pleased at the end of the auction. “A lot of people questioned our decision to retain Manan over players like Mandeep Singh and Gurkeerat Singh but at the end of the day they have ended up in our side. We saw a lot of potential in Manan and his first-class record shows that. Over the years, we have always backed local talent,” the Kings XI official said.