IPL 2017: MS Dhoni Always Won As Captain, Point To Prove In Final As Player: Mohammad Azharuddin
Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin has come in all support for prolific wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni while stating the ex-Indian skipper has a point to prove as a player in IPL 2017 final, after emerging victorious as a team leader in the recent past.
“[MS] Dhoni has always won as captain. Now he may want to win as a player. Try to prove that I can win even when I am just a player,” Azhar was quoted by India Today.
However, Hyderabad-born Azharuddin expressed dissatisfaction after seeing Dhoni being removed from the captaincy of Indian Premier League franchise Rising Pune Supergiant for the tenth edition of IPL.
Interestingly, Steven Smith-led side has qualified for the IPL 2017 final following 20-run victory over two-time cash-rich champions of Twenty20 league competition.
Mohammad Azharuddin still holds on to his opinion though that the manner in which MS Dhoni was stripped of Pune captaincy was in poor taste.
Terming it ‘poor’ to sack the experienced campaigner, Azharuddin further lambasted the owners and administrators of Supergiant following the abrupt sacking of Dhoni before the start of the summer cricket extravaganza.
“Once you are not a captain, you move on. I was not in favour of his sacking,” Azharuddin asserted.
However, there does not seem a tiff taking place following the cordial relation between Steven Smith and MS Dhoni as the latter was seen taking on-field tips from the Ranchi lad while setting the field.
“But now Smith and Dhoni have created a good rapport. They have gelled well that’s when the team has delivered,” Azharuddin revealed.
Azharuddin, who was a live wire on the field during his career, predicted Pune is highly likely going to lift the coveted trophy as Mumbai Indians.
“I think Pune will win. The playoff they won against Mumbai will be a big confidence booster,” Azharuddin stated.
Interestingly, Dhoni led now-defunct Chennai Super Kings for six IPL finals before joining Rising Supergiant to play his seventh IPL final since its inception in 2008 when Lalit Modi came up with the idea which has now become a widely acclaimed league among the cricket fanatics.
“Ben Stokes will be missed though. But the way Dhoni is playing with those 40 runs he got in the last two overs, he can help them win the final,” Azharuddin concluded.
The 54-year-old Azharuddin, who played 334 One-day Internationals and 99 Tests for India, was in awe of Supergiant performance throughout the season after IPL franchise finished their maiden edition on the seventh position during the group stage of IPL points table in 2016.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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