Just as the Lodha verdict came out imposing a ban on two heavily supported teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, mystery shrouded upon the fate of the players belonging to both the heavyweight sides. However, BCCI came up with a strategy that led to the genesis of the two new teams in this year’s IPL list, the Rising Pune Super Giants(RPSG) and Gujarat Lions, to substitute the two tainted teams for the upcoming two years.
The Rising Pune Super Giants is owned by business tycoon Sanjeev Goenka and his company RP Sanjeev Goenka group. After the initial battle for purchasing the team, the Goenka led group bagged the side for a certain price. As they shelled out a sum higher than the Intex company owned Gujarat Lions, the Giants were given the first choice to select a player for forming their core squad.
Their first and obvious choice was India limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was chosen to herald the side for this year’s IPL, following which they turned towards Dhoni’s go-to bowler Ravichandran Ashwin before opting for Faf Du Plessis, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith to form a visibly batting-centered core team.
With these picks, RPSG not only ensured that they had a fiery-batting line-up, they also roped in the experience of three international captains in their squad in MS Dhoni, Steve Smith and Faf Du Plessis, three players who captain the T20 squads of their respective countries. Stephen Fleming was appointed as the coach, which adds a bit of a CSK-esque flavour to the squad.