New Delhi: In Qualifier 1 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) are up against two-time winners Mumbai Indians (MI). After peaking at the right time in the second half of the tournament, Pune will miss the services of English all-rounder Ben Stokes, who played a crucial role in their revival.
Under Steve Smith's captaincy, Pune have proved a point by ending up at the second spot in the points table. While the Australian was the official skipper of the team, the viewers could see how MS Dhoni helped him on the field with his experience.
Stokes, who has left for a training camp in Spain, lauded Dhoni's role saying the wicket-keeper batsman helped Smith in setting the fields.
“On the field, MS epitomises calmness and, from a cricket point of view, has the best angle in terms of field placements. Obviously, Steve’s the captain, but he’s aware that MS has the best angle and, so, has worked with him in setting fields. Indeed, Steve and MS have worked really well together,” Stokes told The Telegraph.
Stokes, who became the costliest overseas player to be bought at an IPL auction, heaped more praise on the Ranchi-born cricketer.
"In the hotel, MS keeps his door open and anybody can go in. He's been very accommodating,"
Dhoni might not have been in the best of form in the tournament with the bat, but his role behind the wickets was unquestionable.
Going into Qualifier 1, Pune can take confidence from the fact that they are the only team to have beaten the Rohit Sharma-led side, not once, but twice in the tournament.
Two of Mumbai's three losses have come against Pune.