Steve Smith captained MS Dhoni during the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League, when the duo represented the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant.
The 2023 Indian Premier League begins on March 31 with a blockbuster opening clash between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings. The Titans are the defending champions of the tournament, as they enjoyed an incredible run in their maiden season last year under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya. MS Dhoni’s CSK, however, had contrasting fortunes as they finished a dismal ninth with only four wins to their name.
CSK, however, remains one of the most successful franchises in the tournament with four IPL titles – all under Dhoni’s captaincy. And the CSK skipper would’ve undoubtedly been a one-franchise player had the Super Kings not been suspended for two years on corruption charges in 2016 and 2017; in those years, Dhoni represented the Rising Pune Supergiant.
While he led the side in its first season, Steve Smith captained the team in 2017 to the final of the tournament. Six years later, the Australia star opened up on leading Dhoni in the franchise, insisting that it was a learning for him even in the captaincy role.
“I guess, the calmness that MS shows (was the learning). We saw throughout his career, how calm he was. He didn’t look like he was flustered by any emotions. That certainly something I’ve taken from him, not just in that season, but just watching him go about his business,” Smith said on Star Sports.
Dhoni had led the RPS in their first season; however, after the wicketkeeper-batter stepped down from India captaincy in January 2017, the franchise decided to replace him with Steve Smith in the role. The decision saw much furore from fans but the Supergiant produced an impressive outing in the season; they finished second in the season but faced a final defeat to Mumbai Indians.
Following the return of CSK, the franchise was dissolved and Dhoni made a return in yellow colours, steerin the Super Kings to title win straightaway.