Although Steven Smith slammed a half-century on his captaincy debut and led from the front in Rising Pune Supergiant’s seven-wicket win in the IPL opener against Mumbai Indians at the MCA Stadium on Thursday, the ultimate boss remains to be MS Dhoni. (IPL FULL COVERAGE)
On a number of occasions the legendary ex-India skipper was seen setting the field placement while Smith chatted with his bowlers as they went back to their bowling mark. (HIGHLIGHTS of RPS vs MI)
Ajinkya Rahane, who slammed 60 to set the stage for RPS to chase MI’s 184 for eight, too noted that Smith took a lot of advices from MS Dhoni.
“Though Steve Smith has led the Australian side very well, for me, MS Dhoni is still the best leader. This was the first game as leader for Smith, but he was learning from Dhoni as well.
“Smith was seen taking more tips from him. Dhoni was seen giving tips and inputs to Smith in the middle,” Rahane pointed out in the post-match conference.
Ajinkya Rahane, however, refrained from making any comparisons between Dhoni and Smith’s leadership skills.
“It is very difficult as I have just played one game under Smith. I have played a lot more under Mahi bhai’s captaincy and we all know he is a world-class leader. I think people should not compare Smith and Dhoni’s captaincy. He (Dhoni) is still a world-class player,” said the India vice-captain in Tests.
Ajinkya Rahane felt the bowlers did an excellent job to keep Mumbai Indians to 184 for eight in 20 overs, especially after the flying start by the MI openers Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler.
According to Rahane, the three quick wickets by Imran Tahir was crucial.
“He is superb. We all know he is a world-class bowler especially in this format he has improved a lot. Those three wickets were crucial for us.
“He was ready to bowl an attacking line despite the batsmen having a go at him. We could see how confident he was about his bowling and implementing his plans,” said Rahane.
RPS’ decision to use both their leg spinners Tahir and Adam Zampa was a surprise combination. Rahane explained the rational behind their decision.
“Both are attacking bowlers and always look to take wickets. Adam Zampa did well for us last time while Imran Tahir is a world-class bowler. So, it is a good thing for the side to have both of them as we know that are aways going to go for wickets,” said Rahane.