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Virender Sehwag ‘happy’ about MS Dhoni’s removal as IPL team RPS’ captain

Virender Sehwag said after MS Dhoni’s removal as IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants captain, his own team Kings XI Punjab can beat them in the 2017 edition. Dhoni was earlier the captain of Chennai Super Kings.

cricket Updated: Feb 23, 2017 14:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Virender Sehwag,MS Dhoni,IPL
MS Dhoni ‘s removal as IPL team Rising Pune Supergiants captain is an internal decision, according to Virender Sehwag.(HT Photo)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s removal as Rising Pune Supergiants captain surprised all. Arguably India’s most successful skipper was replaced by a younger Steve Smith for the 2017 Indian Premier league (IPL) ahead of the auction.

Virender Sehwag, Dhoni’s former India teammate, said he was happy that the latter was no longer Pune Supergiants’ captain and gave an interesting reason behind it.

“I am happy that he isn’t captain because maybe now my team, Kings XI Punjab, can beat this Pune team,” said Sehwag, who is another IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab’s head of cricket operations.

Read | Mahendra Singh Dhoni travels in train after 13 years ahead of Vijay Hazare Trophy

“On a serious note, I believe that this is an internal decision of the franchise but he is one of the best ever captains India has ever had,” added Sehwag. He was speaking at a session in ‘SporTale’, a sports-themed literary festival.

Dhoni, who stepped down from captaincy in the limited-overs format before the start of the England series, will now play only as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

Dhoni was earlier the captain of now suspended Chennai Super Kings and came to the new franchise Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016.

However, the recent move by Pune team management has ended Dhoni’s innings as skipper in both international and franchise cricket.

Read | Ben Stokes says great to share dressing room with MS Dhoni and Steven Smith

Rising Pune Supergiants owner Sanjiv Goenka earlier said: “Dhoni has not stepped down. We have appointed Steve Smith as the skipper for the upcoming season. Frankly speaking, we did not have a good last season and we wanted someone young to lead the side and revamp it ahead of the upcoming season 10.”

Goenka further added, “I have the highest regard for MS Dhoni as a leader and a person. Dhoni continues to be an integral member of our team. He is supportive of the decision keeping the franchise’s best interests in mind.”

Rising Pune Supergiants were one of the two new teams in the 2016 IPL along with Gujarat Lions following the suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

Pune narrowly avoided the wooden spoon to Kings XI Punjab, thanks to Dhoni who smashed two sixes off the last two balls in their last league game.

First Published: Feb 22, 2017 20:34 IST