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MS Dhoni was the reason Pune reached IPL 2017 final, not Steve Smith: Rajat Bhatia

Steve Smith, who replaced MS Dhoni as RPS captain at the beginning of the IPL 2017 season, often ran out of ideas in crucial situations, says Rajat Bhatia, who played under both of them.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: April 1, 2021 2:44:27 pm
MS Dhoni and Steve Smith in action for Rising Pune Supergiants (File Photo/BCCI)

MS Dhoni was the reason Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) had reached the IPL 2017 final despite having been replaced as captain by Steve Smith at the beginning of the season, said Rajat Bhatia, a veteran player in the league who was part of that RPS side.

Speaking on SportsTiger’s interview series – Interact. Personal. Laugh & Life (IPLL) – Bhatia said, “You can never compare Dhoni with Steve Smith. Smith doesn’t even feature in top 10 captains for me. Dhoni was the reason we reached the IPL 2017 final.”

READ | Steve Smith turns to MS Dhoni for advice in crunch situation, watch video

Saying that he had been surprised when Smith had been named Rajasthan Royals captain, Bhatia said Smith had often ran out of ideas in crucial situations.

‘Lack of maturity in Gambhir’s captaincy for Delhi’

Bhatia, who has 71 wickets in 95 IPL matches, also spoke about how different IPL teams have different approaches to appointing their captain. He spoke about playing under Gautam Gambhir, who he said was an “immature” captain in his first year as leader, but under whom he enjoyed playing because Gambhir knew how to use him.

“I really enjoyed playing under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir. However, during his third year for Delhi Daredevils, there was a lack of maturity in his captaincy, maybe because it was his first ever role as a captain in the IPL and there were also a lot of changes made,” Bhatia said.

“When we both moved to KKR and he became the captain, I had a doubt whether I’ll be able to enjoy under his captaincy or not… He used to prefer me in his playing 11 and always used to tell me that he believed in me and knew how to use me. That’s why I enjoyed playing under him,” he added.

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