Will RPS go to IPL-10 with same popularity after Kohli-Smith spat?
New Delhi: Indian Premier league (IPL) -10 lands an emotional lot of Indian cricket fans in a catch 22 situation. Whether to remain abhorrent of Australian skipper Steven Smith or cheer their team for the sake of our own hero M S Dhoni.
Such queer situation has arisen ahead of season 10 of IPL as the recent acrimony witnessed during just concluded India-Australia Test cricket series has resulted into more haters of Australian skipper Steven Smith. The Australian captain is, coincidentally, leading the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) team in the IPL which has Dhoni as a team member.
With huge following of Dhoni and almost equal number of fans repugnant towards Smith following his spat with Indian darling Virat Kohli, the fans will have a tough choice to make, whether or not support the Pune side.
RPS, whose popularity revolved chiefly around one name i.e. MS Dhoni, may suffer loss in the same with the enthronement of Steven Smith as team's captain. The on-the-field histrionics may be a treat for cricket fanatics in view of the current form of Smith but at the same time, the disdain of Indians against the Australian team, majorly Smith is clearly visible on social networking sites.
It may be recalled here that in the ninth season of the cash-rich league, RPS suffered a setback with back-to-back injuries to its top players. The Pune team is required to give a knock-out performance to improve its fortune for which the pair of Smith and Dhoni will have to work in tandem. Here lies the predicament for the fans.
The mystery will unfold on April 6 when RPS, in its first encounter, will take on Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians. IPL-10 is set to commence on April 5 when defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad will lock horns with Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Rising Pune Supergiants (team): MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Rajat Bhatia, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mayank Agarwal, Steven Smith (c), Daniel Christian, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Stokes, Usman Khawaja, Imran Tahir, Ankit Sharma, Faf du Plessis, Deepak Chahar, Baba Aparajith, Adam Zampa, Ishwar Pandey, Shardul Thakur, Rahul Tripathi, Ankush Bains, Saurabh Kumar, Lockie Ferguson, Jaskaran Singh, Milind Tandon, Rahul Chahar