The cricketing fraternity was left stunned a day before the IPL10 auctions, when the owner of Rising Pune Supergiant, Sanjiv Goenka, announced the ouster of M.S. Dhoni from the captaincy of the franchise. Mahi has scaled unimaginable heights as a captain of Team India, was replaced by his Australian counterpart, Steve Smith. While Steve Smith's recent dream run may be a clinching factor behind the decision but we, at Follow Your Sport, try and highlight issues going on behind the scenes that prompted RPS owner to sack Dhoni.
When everything changes Dhoni remains constant…
The RPS owner, Sanjiv Goenka, in an interview with a Bengali paper, Sangbad Pratidin, revealed some interesting insights which prompted RPS top-brass to take the drastic step. According to Goenka, RPS’ failure to live up to expectations in IPL 2016 didn’t go too well with the team management who thought that they now needed a younger and more imaginative captain who could deliver the expected results. Another reason for the friction was the difficulty in direct communication with Dhoni. Goenka stated that the decision was taken, keeping in mind the best interests of the franchise and that it should not be taken personally.
Let’s have a look at the main points of contention between RPS owners and Dhoni –
– Dhoni used to miss the important franchise meetings on a regular basis. All calls to him were routed through his agent, Arun Pandey. The RPS owners were irritated over the absence of a direct communication channel.
– Mahi skipped even the team meetings last year. He, allegedly, didn’t implement the bowling strategies that were discussed prior to the matches and didn’t give any explanation about the same.
– Dhoni also missed the net sessions frequently which made him aloof about the progress of the youngsters in the team. The exclusion of Adam Zampa was also questioned by the RPS management to which Dhoni replied that his absence from the net sessions didn’t give him any opportunity to monitor the likes of Zampa. After repeated requests from the management, Zampa was included in the squad – a move that instantly paid rich dividends as the Australian impressed one and all with his performance.
– Dhoni’s backing to the under-performing players like Saurabh Tiwary, who didn’t even do well in the domestic circuit, wasn’t appreciated by the RPS set-up.
– Dhoni gave his inputs on non-cricketing matters such as the design and colour of team jersey etc. These inputs didn’t go well with the management. Dhoni had a lot of say even in the non-cricketing matters at CSK camp and RPS owners were determined to keep his authority in check.
– Last but not the least, Dhoni’s own form in the 2016 IPL didn’t help his cause as he scored a total of 284 runs from 12 innings in the tournament with only a single fifty-plus score to his name.
All the aforementioned bones of contention finally led to the ouster of M.S. Dhoni from leading the side, a decision that was conveyed in person to him by the then RPS CEO, Raghu Aich. Dhoni asked the management to do what is in team’s best interest and said that he was ready to contribute his bit as a regular player.