You could almost hear a collective intake of breath among the Indian cricketing fraternity, when Rising Pune Supergiants decided to name drop MS Dhoni and name Steve Smith as their captain last year.
It was a very brave decision to relieve the iconic MS Dhoni from his captaincy duties, as the the Ranchi man had been the skipper in all previous editions of the IPL.
While Dhoni, in typical fashion, did not make any fuss about it, his huge legion of fans created an uproar over the decision to remove him as captain of the RPSG.
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It put Steve Smith in a very awkward position as the Aussie skipper had to somehow win over a dressing room that had many young Indian players who naturally gravitated towards India’s World Cup winning captain.
But Smith did very well as skipper of the RPSG, as he led his team into the final of the tournament. Unfortunately for Pune fans, Smith and Dhoni could not drag their team across the finish line as they lost out to Mumbai in a nail-biting encounter.
The entire tournament was a fantastic learning curve for the Smith, as he has admitted that he learnt a lot about leadership during those eight weeks as skipper in the IPL.
And the numbers back him up as well, as Smith is proven to have the best win-ratio of all other skippers in the IPL. The Aussie has a win-ratio of 66.67% which is better than second placed Rohit Sharma with 60%.
While Dhoni is the most successful skipper in IPL history, the legendary keeper has a win-ratio of just 58.04%.
This could be a very useful piece of information for franchise owners before they take part in the mega IPL auction later next month!