After surrendering his ODI and T20 captainship, MS Dhoni did away with his lead role in the IPL team as well. Rising Pune Supergiants selected Steven Smith as the team’s new captain for the upcoming season. Just before the beginning of players’ auction, Dhoni resigned from the captainship position. Sanjiv Goenka, owner of Pune franchise appreciated the player saying that he has the highest regard for Dhoni as a leader and as a person. He added, Dhoni will continue to be an important part of the team. Goenka confirmed that the ex-captain is supportive of the decision for the best interest of the team.
However, in a prior statement ahead of his last international game as the captain, Dhoni was heard saying that he was not done with captainship. In that moment, the player was quite sure about his captaincy in IPL and domestic cricket. Meanwhile, his form had a drastic change in the match after resigning. He scored his first ODI century in four years in the match and his first 50 in international T20. In the previous season, Pune Supergiants was in the bottom of the chart losing nine matches and winning only five. The team lost several key players due to injury, which was supposedly, the prime reason for the slog.
Last season, the ex-captain scored 284 runs playing 12 innings at a strike rate of 135. In contrast, Steven Smith scored 270 in seven innings at a strike rate of 135. Since 2008, the player captained Chennai Super Kings until 2016. He was the highest paid player in the time with USD 1.5 million. He led the team to victory in two consecutive seasons, in 2010 and 2011. Following the seasons the team finished as runners-up in four occasions. Dhoni’s contract with Supergiants also ended before the current auction. IPL 2017 will start from April 5 for its tenth season.
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