With much being spoken about ever since Rising Pune Supergiant‘s owner Sanjiv Goenka sacked MS Dhoni unceremoniously as skipper, former players raised their opinion on the controversial decision. Latest to join the list is former Australian captain Ricky Ponting. Ponting, who has led Australia to two World Cup glories in 2003 and 2007, was surprised when former India skipper was removed as Rising Pune Supergiants’ leader before the start of Indian Premier League (IPL) 10. He also believes that the 35-year-old’s presence is necessary for India in their title-defence in ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Currently, RPS are sitting at the fourth spot with 5 victories from 9 games under Steven Smith‘s leadership. ICC Champions Trophy 2017: India should take part, feels Ramachandra Guha
“It just seemed like a strange time to move him on as captain if he wasn’t coming towards the end,” Ponting was quoted as saying as Cricket Australia. The removal from the top job did not shift focus from Dhoni as his current form has been under scanner in IPL 10. His sole match-winning knock came against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and has only got to starts in other encounters.
“And to be fair, he probably hasn’t had much negativity come his way over the past 15 or 20 years. So it will be really interesting to see how he handles that over the coming weeks. It happened with (Glenn) McGrath and (Shane) Warne and all those great players that I was lucky enough to play with. He’ll find a way and he’ll win games for his team”, added the flamboyant Aussie skipper.
Ponting feels it would be a mistake to write off Dhoni just yet as India would need his ability to control the game in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, to be held in England and Wales.
“Batting in the middle-order, he’s someone who can really control a ODI innings. And that might be what you need in England. If the ball does a bit early on, there’s a chance India could lose top-order wickets and you’d need someone in the middle-order to guide the ship,” Ponting added.