After slamming 60 runs against Mumbai Indians (MI) in Rising Pune Supergiant’s (RPS) first match of Indian Premier League (2017), opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane said that former skipper MS Dhoni will always remain the boss of the side. Dhoni, who was replaced by RPS management in favour of Steven Smith, was seen setting the fielding positions. Smith, who played a match-winning knock of 58, added 44 runs with Dhoni for the fourth wicket. Jos Buttler, who plays for MI, also praised Smith for his stellar performance and called him the best batsmen in the world. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Mumbai Indians (MI), IPL 2017 Match 2
Rahane, in the press-conference, added, “Though Steve Smith has led the Australian side very well, for me, MS Dhoni is still the best leader. This was the first game as leader for Smith, but he was learning from Dhoni as well. Smith was seen taking more tips from him. Dhoni was seen giving tips and inputs to Smith in the middle.”
Rahane quickly refrained from comparing the two greats. “It is very difficult as I have just played one game under Smith. I have played a lot more under Mahi bhai’s captaincy and we all know he is a world-class leader. I think people should not compare Smith and Dhoni’s captaincy. He (Dhoni) is still a world-class player,” cited Rahane.
Buttler provided a blistering start to the MI innings. In his press conference, he said, “Yeah, he [Smith] is obviously the best batsmen in world at the moment. No one seems to have come up with a plan quite yet for him. He played really well, read the situation really well and remained not out in the end.”
Rahane further explained RPS’ ploy to play Adam Zampa and Imran Tahir together, “Both are attacking bowlers and always look to take wickets. Adam Zampa did well for us last time while Imran Tahir is a world-class bowler. So, it is a good thing for the side to have both of them as we know that they are always going to go for wickets.”