Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni left India’s limited-over captaincy in January and gave the reins to Virat Kohli. This news was a shock for all of the Indian supporters, but a bigger shock followed this in February, just a day before the auction of IPL when Rising Pune Supergiant owner Sanjeev Goenka sacked Dhoni’s captaincy and gave it to Australian skipper Steve Smith.
After this decision fans were not too happy and they showed their anger against Goenka. But the owner wants from fans to keep faith in his decision and support the team. He said “To me, the media can say whatever they want, the social media can also say whatever. I respect everything, I respect all the views and each one is entitled to their own views. But, I do not think it is a matter of public debate as to what went behind the decision (of handing the captaincy to Smith). Sometimes the decisions are not necessarily the most popular, but that is the way it is.”
“You are here to take decisions which are in the best interest of the team, which is what we are trying to do. And, we do believe that we have a great team and we do believe that we will perform well this year, but that only time will tell.”
Goenka further added “I have said this and I will say this again that every time I have met MS or interacted with him, I have learnt something new. I have immense respect for him both as a player and as one of the finest leaders. I have no qualms in saying that I am his biggest fan.”
“It has to do with numerology. We had been suggested last year itself that we should remove the ‘S’, but we did not pay much heed. But after the way the team performed last year, we thought might as well give it a shot.”
RPS was introduced in IPL in the last season and they didn’t do well unlike the fellow debutant Gujarat Lions, who were the table toppers. It was the first instance that Dhoni was playing for a different team than Chennai Super Kings since this league’s introduction. Goenka believes that now he understands this league better than during last season.
He explained “I don’t think there is pressure on us just because someone else has done well. We didn’t do well and this year I believe we have a way better team than last year, so I have more expectations from my team this year than I had last year. Definitely, as an individual, I have learnt a lot more in this one year. I have become a little more confident, despite failure or maybe because of failure.”
“We have gone in for match-winners or potential match-winners like Ben Stokes, Imran Tahir etc. and these are all pointers in that direction. We had only one good pacer last year so we went for Shardul Thakur, similarly, we wanted a hard-hitting Indian batsman, so we went for Mayank Agarwal. So, we have plugged in certain deficiencies that we had,” RPS owner concluded.