Australian skipper Steve Smith, who is playing alongside former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for Rising Pune Supergiant in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has asserted that they both share a pretty chilled out relationship. “It’s pretty chilled out with him. He has been fantastic and has had a few valuable contributions with the bat and he is hitting the ball really well,” Smith said in an interview with iplt20.com. The Australian skipper further stated that Dhoni has played a crucial role for the turnaround of their side’s fortunes in the tournament where they have won four of their last five games to stay fourth on the table.
“MS Dhoni has been fantastic as he knows the game incredibly well out here. As a wicket-keeper, it is nice to have someone out there who can look at the angles and get them right,” he said. “He has done that well for us and I’m sure he will continue to make a big impact and help me and the rest of the boys and hopefully have more success in the rest of this tournament,” he added.
Dhoni has aggregated 173 runs in the IPL so far in nine innings. The 35-year-old has been in the line of fire following his recent low performances for the franchise in this edition so far.
After managing mere 61 runs in the first five matches of the tournament, the Indian batsman rebounded strongly and went on to smash a match-winning unbeaten knock of 61 off just 34 balls during his side’s six-wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He, however, scored just 30 runs in the next two matches, thus giving his critics more reasons to point fingers towards him.
“I think he will come back to great form and have a bigger impact by the end of this IPL. I’m really excited about the next couple of games,” he said. The 27-year-old further praised Dhoni for his amazing speed with which he stumps batsmen, saying, “Look, he’s incredibly quick behind the stumps and his hands don’t go back at all, they just stay there and collect the ball.” “He has done that for a very long time now and has done it once or twice for us in this tournament so far and is doing a great job for the team,” he added.