Rising Pune Supergiant take on Mumbai Indians in their maiden Indian Premier League final on Sunday. Mumbai's entry into the final came as no surprise considering the quality and depth of their squad. The same cannot be said of the Pune team, which replaced MS Dhoni as captain ahead of the tenth edition of the tournament. Pune started slowly, only gaining momentum towards the end of the league phase. Moreover, Steve Smith's men played the first Qualifier without match-winners Ben Stokes and Imran Tahir, who left the tournament for international duty.
Right through the IPL, the RPS players have faced several questions over the team's leadership. Comparisons between Dhoni and Smith were made, especially since the former India captain led the Pune franchise in the first season. Remarks from Harsh Goenka, brother of RPS owner Sanjeev, didn't help either. Smith, however, always maintained that Dhoni was available for advise and that the duo discussed several cricketing matters.
Ahead of the big final against Mumbai, Pune put out a tweet that is bound to delight Dhoni's fans.
"Forgot what team you support? It's called M.S.Dhoni!," the tweet from RPS' official account read.
Dhoni, who hasn't been at his best this term, played a sensational knock in the first qualifier against Mumbai. The wicketkeeper-batsman's 26-ball 40 made all the difference in the end as Pune made it to their first IPL final.
Dhoni has been part of six IPL finals, ending up on the winning side on two occasions. Overall, Mahi has won six T20 finals in his career. Interestingly, MI captain Rohit Sharma too has six T20 titles under his belt. When the 10th edition is done and duster, either Dhoni or Rohit will move ahead to become the Indian cricketer with most T20 titles.