In Thursday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants, Pune’s Captain Steve Smith scored 84 runs in 54 balls. Smith became the star after striking two sixes in the last two balls of the match. But the match boss was someone else.
After the match ended, Ajinkya Rahane, the player of Rising Pune Superhiant, said at the press conference:
Steve Smith has given Australia a very good lead. But Dhoni is still the best leader for me. This was the first game under the captaincy of Smith, but he was still learning from Dhoni. People should not compare Dhoni and Smith’s captaincy. Dhoni is still a world-class player.
‘Smith Proves Who’s the King of the Jungle’
Rising Pune Supergiant owner Sanjeev Goenka’s brother, Harsh Goenka, got slammed for criticising MS Dhoni after he said, “#RPSvMI Smith proves who’s the king of the jungle. Overshadows Dhoni totally. Captains innings. Great move to appoint him as captain.” Dhoni hasn’t commented on the replacement, but Goenka’s tweet clearly did not go down well with Dhoni fans.
Dhoni might have left captaincy from other formats of the game, but there is a lot of criticism for not naming him captain in the current season of IPL. But after the first match, it seems that Smith and Dhoni's partnership will take Rising Pune Supergiants a long way.
Though Smith should keep in mind that for the Pune fans, the real boss is Dhoni.
In Thursday's match, India's former captain Dhoni was seen setting up the fielders and Smith talking to the ballers. Many times Smith was also taking tips from Dhoni. Both the players were seen playing together and coordinating well.
Dhoni has given two World Cups to the country – ICC T20 in 2007 and ICC World Cup in 2011. Dhoni has performed exceedingly well in the IPL too. He has also given a trophy to the Chennai Super Kings team twice, once in 2010 and the other one in 2011. Smith, on the other hand, is currently one of the world's most successful batsman.
(The article was originally published on Quint Hindi.)