The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans need not be disheartened as their favourite captain MS Dhoni will be back in the upcoming edition of the IPL and will be leading a fresh charge of Rising Pune Supergiants. This is one of the new teams alongside the Gujarat Lions who replaced the now-suspended CSK and Rajasthan Royals.
Dhoni will see a similar coaching staff and most importantly, he will have a number of CSK colleagues in that new dressing room during the IPL 2016.
Rising Pune Supergiants have a well-balanced side as their coach Stephen Fleming said a few days ago. Now, it will be a challenge for MS Dhoni for the next two years and it will be interesting to see whether he can live up to the expectations of the fans or not. As we all know, the Team India does not like to lose and so do many of the players in his side.
Let us take a closer look at the team:
Batsmen: This team has a number of star batsmen in their ranks like Steve Smith, Kevin Pietersen and Ajinkya Rahane among others. But the questions remains, who will open the batting with Ajinkya Rahane? Dhoni will have to think a lot to solve this issue. In T20 cricket, a good opening stand is always crucial. They do have a lot of batting strength in their middle-order and also have a number of finishers in their squad, but the opening slot will be an issue that needs to be addressed soon. Looking at the squad at this moment, it is very difficult to say who will be coming out to bat alongside Rahane at the top of the order.
All-rounders: Dhoni will have the luxury of opting from a number of all-rounders like Mitchell Marsh, Thisara Perera, Rajat Bhatia, Irfan Pathan, Albie Morkel and India U-19 star Jaskaran Singh. But Dhoni will try and figure out the best combinations withing the first couple of matches and pose a threat to the other teams in the IPL 2016.
Wicketkeeper: Dhoni himself will be seen behind the stumps. In case, the captain gets injured or wants to rest for a match ot two, he will have Peter Handscomb, who plays for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, to guard the stumps.
Bowlers: Ravichandran Ashwin, Adam Zampa, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Ashok Dinda, Albie Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Murugan Ashwin and Thisara Perera -- these are the bowling options that Dhoni will have prior to the start of their opening match of the tournament against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. But the 34-year-old will have to make his choices wisely, which he usually does.
Overall, Rising Pune Supergiants have a lot of seasoned T20 campaigners in their ranks and it will be interesting to see whether Dhoni & co. becomes a force to reckon with or not.
Rising Pune Supergiants will be playing all their home matches at the Maharashtra Cricket Associations Stadium in Pune.
Complete squad of Rising Pune Supergiants for IPL 2016: MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Adam Zampa, Thisara Perera, Irfan Pathan, Albie Morkel, Saurabh Tiwary, Baba Aparajith, Murugan Ashwin, Rajat Bhatia, Ankush Bains, Ishant Sharma, Ankit Sharma, Jaskaran Singh, Deepak Chahar, Ashok Dinda, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, RP Singh, Ishwar Pandey.