"Would've Been Stupid If...": Steve Smith Opens Up On Leading MS Dhoni In Indian Premier League
Steve Smith became the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants ahead of the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL). MS Dhoni was a member of that side
When Steve Smith became the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants ahead of the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL), the focus was on how the Australian superstar would lead a side that had MS Dhoni, one of the most successful IPL captains, as its member. Now, as Smith returns to the IPL 2023 as a commentator, he recollected his experiences of working with Dhoni.
"Of course, you know he's been able to achieve so much over such a long period of time, he's going to go down as one of the best leaders to play the game for sure. So, you know, when I got the call to say that they wanted me to captain, it was a little bit daunting. But that season, MSD was just wonderful. You know, he helped in any way that he could and, he's a terrific guy. It was a great experience being able to captain him, but also very daunting as well,” Smith told Star Sports, IPL's official broadcasters.
Smith also spoke on the emotions he went through when he got selected as the captain of the RPS team and how he felt leading a side which had MS Dhoni in it, he said: "Yeah, I, I didn't really know what to expect initially, you know, MS had captained every team he played for, obviously throughout the IPL with Chennai, every season should I say. But yeah, when they came and asked me, I was a little bit shocked first, and then I didn't really know what to say. It was like, have you spoken to MS about this? This is a little bit strange from my side, but after we sorted everything out, MS was just wonderful. And the way he helped me and helped guide that team that year was incredible. And yeah, I couldn't thank him enough.:
Smith recalled how it was to work on the field with Dhoni, he said: "Well, it was a while ago now, but yeah, look out on the field. He was someone that I was bouncing ideas off. You know, being behind the stumps, he's got a great, great view of the game. He understands the angles really well and obviously playing in India also, you know, it's his home and he understands those conditions as well as anyone would. So, you know, I would've been stupid if I wasn't trying to get as much knowledge as I could out of him in the middle. And yeah, he was very helpful and certainly helped us achieve what we did that year."
Smith further spoke about what he has been able to learn and emulate from Dhoni over the years, he said “I think just the calmness that MS shows, we saw it throughout his career, just how calm he was. It didn't look like he was flustered by any emotions or anything like that. And that's certainly something that I've taken in not just in that season, but just watching him go about his business in the prior years, just how calm and relaxed he was. And you know, at times I can get quite agitated and things like that. So you know, I have to try and keep myself as calm and as sort of levelheaded as I can. And yeah, that's certainly something that I learned off of MS.”