New Delhi: As the Indian Premier League Players' draft nears, MS Dhoni is tipped to be the first pick of the Pune side.
However, some believe there could be a twist in the tale as the New Rising consortium could opt for Ajinkya Rahane or even Suresh Raina.
Of late, several questions have been asked about Dhoni's form and fitness. Many believe Mahi no longer has it in him to be a match winner.
However, it could be unfair to judge one of IPL's most successful players on the basis of one poor season.
Hence, here are five reasons why Pune should have no hesitation in picking him as their first ever player.
Having paid 16 crores for the Pune team, New Rising don't stand a chance to make a profit within two years. But Dhoni's immense popularity will help them draw crowds and sell merchandise.
Having led CSK in 2008 in its first year, Mahi knows what it takes for the team to perform in its debut season. Dhoni's leadership will be essential in helping players bond and play to their potential.
Dhoni has scored 2987 runs, with 15 fifties and no tons, at an average of 39.30 in 129 IPL matches. The wicket-keeper batsman has 56 catches and 23 stumpings to his credit.
Dhoni is IPL's most successful captain. Under his watch CSK has made it to the play-offs stage of every edition. Chennai are two-time winners of the tournament.
Dhoni is as good a batsman as he is a wicket-keeper. This helps lend balance to the side and allows more elbow room to team management in selecting an additional bowler or batsman.