MS Dhoni will lead the Rising Pune Supergiants (yup, that is the name) in IPL 2016, after the new franchise of the Indian Premier League unveiled their team name and logo.
After bagging the rights to host an IPL team for the next two years, following the suspensions of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, the owner Sanjiv Goenka announced the weird/good/out-of-the-box/bad/ugly (take your pick) name of the franchise, while also announcing what was as obvious as anything there is in cricket – MS Dhoni will be the captain.
"I welcome Dhoni as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants for the 2016 season," Goenka said during the big unveiling in Kolkata. "He has always been a phenomenal leader for teams that he has represented including the Indian side.
"His track record in both domestic and International arenas have been remarkable. I firmly believe he will lead our team extremely well on and off the field."
The Rising Pune Superstars (so is that RPS then?) have five great players to bank on for next season, with Dhoni joined in the team by Steve Smith, one of the best batsmen in world cricket, Faf Du Plessis, the South Africa T20 captain, R Ashwin, India's premier spin bowler, and Ajinkya Rahane, the most improved batsman in Indian cricket.
"We hope there will be complete harmony in the team," Goenka added. "The likes of MS, Steve Smith and Faf du Plessis are seasoned leaders. I don't think there will be any chance of a friction in the team."
Goenka believes Dhoni is the ideal candidate to lead a team which will play its first season in the IPL in 2016, even if Pune will have Smith, the Australia captain, and Du Plessis, the South Africa skipper, in their team.
"Right now the focus is only on 2016 and the team building," Goenka said. "That's why we named Dhoni as the captain."
Stephen Fleming has already been named the coach of Rising Pune Supergiants (when they were only Team Pune), and Goenka and the rest of the ownership will hope the New Zealander and Dhoni continue producing the magic they so often did together in CSK colours.
The Rising Pune Superstars will not hope to make an impact and pick the right players during the IPL 2016 Player Auction on 6 February.