Just a day before the auction, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has dropped a huge bombshell by stepping down as Rising Pune Supergiants skipper, reportedly.
One of the most successful skippers in the history of the Indian Premier League, the 35-year old had endured a torrid time with the new-comers last season, where they finished second-last after winning only five games. However, according to reports, his decision has nothing to do with RPS’s poor performance in their inaugural season.
Speaking to Wisden India, a franchise source said:“Dhoni is a legend of Indian and world cricket, who are we to ask him to step down? He chose to step down because he wants to enjoy his cricket and play with freedom.”
Reports suggest Australia skipper Steven Smith is likely to take charge of the team now. Faf du Plessis is also a likely candidate but since his availability for the entire tournament is in doubt, Smith looks to be the ideal choice. Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin could also come in contention.
Meanwhile, the sudden decision from Dhoni has left everyone baffled and they took to Twitter to express their surprise. Here are some of the best reactions:
Steve Smith replaces MS Dhoni as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants. pic.twitter.com/1LlaMin6X3
— Sagar (@sagarcasm) February 19, 2017
Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni.
Not a legit captain until Pune takes you down.
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) February 19, 2017
Steve Smith will captain Rising Pune Supergiants in the upcoming IPL. Captaining RPSG after a series in India should be a nightmare for him
— Shashi (@AllTimeBakchod) February 19, 2017
Steve Smith as captain? Wary of having overseas skippers in the IPL if there's an Indian alternative available. RPS has Rahane-Ashwin #IPL
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 19, 2017
MS Dhoni can step down as a captain of the team but he always remain our Captain and no franchise can remove him from our heart #IPLauction
— GLvKKR RCBvDD (@ViratKohli_King) February 19, 2017
Dhoni if you have done it
It may make you better player.. As in no pressure
But the heartbreak caused to me is incurable ✋ #ThanksCaptain 💔
— Dhoni'sBodyguard🇮🇳 (@inzaynpari7) February 19, 2017
After playing under Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni will be playing under Steve Smith in IPL #IPL10
— Shubh AggarWall (@shubh_chintak) February 19, 2017
Love the timing of MS Dhoni's stepping down as captain..Always bang on!
— Hariom Kumar (@hkumar26) February 19, 2017
— Mogambo🇮🇳⏺ (@UberHandle) February 19, 2017
Dhoni stepping down in IPL means signs of ending his career without leading Jharkhand even once being the most capped International captain.
— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) February 19, 2017
Sakshi: Let’s spend some more time on the terrace.
Dhoni: No, I am stepping down. #Dhoni
— Shubham Pandey (@iPandeyshubham) February 19, 2017