Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) owner Sanjiv Goenka has praises on skipper Steve Smith and also veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni. Praising the Aussie cricket, Smith gave a huge kind word to him by saying that his mind was even ahead of the seasoned Indian campaigner.
The 39-year-old RPS chairman Goenka said to Hindustan Times praising Smith and Dhoni, “MS is one of the greatest minds I have interacted with. And he is the best wicket-keeper in the world. The one mind ahead of Dhoni’s is (Steven) Smith’s. My brief to Smith was – ‘win the championship.’”
“It’s difficult to believe the way he has planned some dismissals; the tact and firmness with which he has dealt with tricky situations and the win-or-nothing attitude he has been able to infuse into the team (and) get them to gel as a unit.”
RPS owner further added, “You need to win eight (or) nine games to make the playoffs and Smith told me that between him, (Imran) Tahir and (Ben) Stokes, we would win seven. And players of the calibre of MS will always give you something.”
“We had more match winners this time, players who would need five (to) six balls to settle down instead of 20. And we had not factored in Rahul Tripathi, Washington Sundar and Jaydev Unadkat. Tripathi and Sundar are going to be serious players on the Indian cricket scene.”
Talking about the journey which took some essential changes in approach, Goenka said: “The first season was a disaster and I wanted it to end soonest, with our dignity intact.” He further describes the last season that his sides changed 11 players, “The team got younger, fitter and more energetic. So, we have fielded better. This time, with whom players loyalties lay didn’t matter.”
Talking about learning one year to control the ‘fragile egos’ of his superstars, Goenka said “We didn’t want to be like a franchise that doesn’t invest its Rs 66 crore purse and is happy finishing fifth but last year, I didn’t know better. Also, with the World T20 around, we didn’t have time.”