Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) mentor Virender Sehwag said the decision to appoint R Ashwin as captain for the 11th season of Indian Premier League (IPL) was influenced by the franchise's long-term vision.

Sehwag acknowledged the overwhelming support local hero Yuvraj Singh received in the lead-up to the announcement. He revealed the support staff and owners had backed the former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-rounder for the high-profile role.

The former Indian captain made the announcement on Monday (February 26) during a Facebook live video on KXIP's official page, following which he had a chat with the newly-appointed captain.

Sehwag also said he had always wanted a bowler-captain for the team and that he was influenced by the likes of former Pakistan skippers Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and 1983 World Cup-winning Indian captain Kapil Dev.

"90% of our fans were saying Yuvraj Singh was the best choice. But I was looking at someone different. I always thought that a bowler should be made the captain because I was a big fan of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Kapil Dev. They did very well for their teams," Sehwag said.

"I thought a bowler would be the best candidate for our team's captaincy. Yuvraj Singh was also there in our minds. But a lot of votes from our support staff and owners went to Ashwin," he added.

"Yuvraj is one of my best friends. But friendship doesn't influence my cricketing decisions."

"We are thinking long-term. We are looking at having Ashwin as captain for the next three to four years. However, it also depends on how the upcoming season goes for us.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh led KXIP to the semi-final in IPL 2008.Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images

Yuvraj led KXIP to the semi-finals in the inaugural season of IPL in 2008. Since then, he had played for the likes of the now-defunct Pune Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) but the Punjab all-rounder was never able to replicate his international performances in the cash-rich league.

The destructive left-hander, who is in the twilight of his career, was bought by KXIP at last month's auction at his base price of Rs 2 crore.

Ashwin big admirer of the left-arm spinner in Yuvraj 

Meanwhile, skipper Ashwin backed Yuvraj to perform well both with the bat and the ball in the upcoming season. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner revealed he is a big fan of the part-time bowler and pointed out how the "pie-chucker" had troubled the likes of Kevin Pietersen during his heyday.

"It's about Yuvi pa [Yuvraj] going there and entertaining the fans. As I said, it's very important to play an aggressive brand of cricket. As far as I am concerned I will love to see him play freely and hit those big shots," Ashwin said.

"I am looking to give him as many overs as possible. He will be one of the best batsmen in our team," he added.

"And more than anything else, I would love to see the pie-chucker in Yuvi pa. One of my strong points is to be innovative and change things up. Yuvi paji will be an integral part of the team. He has led the Kings XI before. He will be a very big linchpin for me to go for advice.

"The pie-chucker in him is somebody that I really like. Many great batsmen, including the likes of Kevin Pietersen, couldn't play him properly. So I think we can utilize that and get a few big wickets this time."