IPL 2017: Ben Stokes clears the air about Rising Pune Supergiant's captaincy conundrum
IPL 2017's most expensive player believes that MS Dhoni will be doing the exact things that he used to do when he was the captain.
What’s the story?
A destructive all-rounder who wears his heart on his sleeve, Benjamin Stokes has been a revelation for the England team in the last few season due to the immense variety he brings to the table. Always bustling with energy, the 25-year old has been a standout performer with both bat and ball, with qualities that justified his Rs. 14.5 crore price tag in the IPL.
Before Stokes joined the squad, MS Dhoni’s removal as captain was met with a lot of hue and cry, but Pune’s most expensive recruit believes that having multiple captains would hardly affect the team.
“It's a good thing for us (having different captains). I know there was a lot of noise on social media that Dhoni is not captain, Smith is captain. We still want the people to come in and support us. It is exactly the same team, just a different captain. Dhoni will be doing exactly the same thing”, Stokes said.
In case you didn’t know…
Dhoni was removed as the captain of the Pune franchise before the start of the tenth edition, a year after the team fared badly, in their debut season as an IPL franchise. They finished second last, forcing the franchise to make some changes, the first of which was replacing Dhoni with Steve Smith.
The heart of the matter
The Pune team, apart from Smith and Dhoni, has in its ranks Faf du Plessis, who currently captains the South African national side. Having so many quality captains might be a problem on the hands of the team because of the multitude of views, but Stokes believes that although there is a lot of hue and cry over Dhoni’s removal, it is the same team with a new captain.
While speaking to The Times of India, Stokes said he believes that it is a good thing to have multiple captains, saying that the players are too professional to hold any grudges. He also said that Dhoni will be doing the exact things that he used to do.
Stokes will most certainly be part of the team that faces Mumbai Indians in Pune’s opening match of the 2017 IPL, on the 6th of April at the MCA stadium in Pune. The team will miss the services of Ravichandran Ashwin, who has been ruled out of the entire IPL with sports hernia.
While Stokes has tried to be pragmatic and said that having multiple captains won’t affect the team, captain Smith had, just a few days ago, said that he won’t be taking too many opinions as they might cloud his judgement. While it is good to have a number of good captains listed on the team sheet, it’ll be interesting to see how Smith refuses the urge to consult his teammates if things go awry.