Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia skipper Steve Smith has replaced Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the Rising Pune Supergiants’ captain for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Under Dhoni’s leadership, the Supergiants struggled in their maiden season last year as they only won five of their 14 games and thus finished second-last on the points table.
“We have opted for Steve Smith as captain of RPS for the forthcoming IPL season,” team owner Sanjeev Goenka told India Today. “Our thought is to have a younger captain at the helm of the team this year. We have a very good mix of youth and experience in the team and feel we need a young mind and a young captain with different ideas to spearhead Rising Pune Supergiants.
“Despite having a good side, the team did not get expected results last year.
“Last year we failed. We could have done much better. (Dhoni) was cooperation personified when we conveyed the decision to him.”
The Supergiants lost numerous key players to injury in 2016, but despite this, Smith and Dhoni were two of their top performers.
Dhoni scored 284 runs in 14 innings at an average of 40.57, while Smith amassed 270 runs in eight innings at an average of 45.
The 2017 IPL begins on April 5, but the Supergiants will begin their campaign a day later against the Mumbai Indians.