IPL 2017: Blessed To Have Steve Smith And MS Dhoni In Our Side: Jaydev Unadkat
When Rising Pune Supergiant replaced Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Steve Smith as the skipper for the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League, there were speculations of an unrest in the dressing room. Dhoni is one of the most successful skippers in the history of the tournament and his unexpected sacking left one and all shocked. Removing a player of the stature of Dhoni was always going to bring widespread criticism and the franchise owners had to face the flak from experts as well as the fans.
However, fast forward a month or two after the decision, the franchise owners are having the last laugh. After a dismal last season, where they finished a lowly seventh in the eight-team tournament, the Pune-based outfit is on the verge of winning their maiden IPL title under Smith. And one man who has played a pivotal role this season is none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Leaving aside his ego, the former India skipper has assisted his successor Smith throughout the tournament. From setting the field, to changing the bowlers, Smith has been seen taking advise from Dhoni on numerous occasions and it has done wonders for the team as they have made it to their maiden IPL final.
The change in the captaincy has proved to a blessing in disguise for the Supergiant and their pace spearhead Jaydev Unadkat has admitted it.
“Steve Smith and MS Dhoni have been brilliant. Both leaders have been great for their countries. We have been blessed to have them around,” the left-arm pacer told India Today.
Unadkat has also played an integral part in Pune’s march to the final of the tournament. In 11 matches so far, he has taken 22 wickets at an impressive average of 13.77 including a hattrick. He has been shouldering the responsibility of the fast-bowling brilliantly and is hoping to finish the season on a high.
“I have grown in confidence from doing well. The first game was important and I kept going well from there. I became the captain’s go-to-man in pressure situations and I am enjoying that. I also feel fortunate to get that opportunity. It will be great to finish on high,” Unadkat said.
“My slower ones have worked well. I did not get enough game time in the past two seasons but I got it this time and I was happy to have played a crucial role in the team’s victory,” added the pacer who played only 2 games in the last couple of seasons.
Unadkat will be hoping for a last hurrah when his side take on Mumbai Indians in the title-decider on Sunday (May 21).
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