Sunil Gavaskar© Getty Images
Sunil Gavaskar (Above) believes that Pune has the advantage as they have MS Dhoni © Getty Images

New Delhi: Former skipper Sunil Gavaskar on Tuesday suggested that new Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajkot should have an Indian captain, saying it makes sense to have somebody at the helm who knows the local players well. Mobile company Intex grabbed the Rajkot franchise and picked players such as Suresh Raina, local hero Ravindra Jadeja, Kiwi superstar Brendon McCullum and Australian all-rounder James Faulkner. “In IPL it makes sense that team has an Indian captain. He knows local players, knows the weaknesses and strengths of local players. And you need an Indian coach if you make Brendon McCullum the captain,” the legendary opener said. However, Gavaskar felt the Pune franchise would be favourite since they have Indian one-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in its ranks. READ: Suresh Raina: Will not lack ‘sportsman spirit’ when pitted against MS Dhoni’s team in IPL 2016

“Any team that has MS will start as favourite. The kind of cricket he plays, he can turn the match on its head. Then Pune has Ashwin, who is in incredible form and Faf du Plessis. Balance in any team is crucial. Pune I think is a little stronger than Rajkot,” Gavaskar told NDTV.

“It’s triple delight. He [Dhoni] is a player, captain and a brand. Any new franchise needs someone like MSD. He is the biggest brand in Indian sports. He brings that leadership quality on the table. Pune has done the right thing by picking him,” he said. Gavaskar said, Gujaratis will receive the team with “great enthusiasm”. READ: Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum among players picked by Rajkot

Cheteshwar Pujara, who hails from Rajkot is also of a similar opinion that the introduction of a new team from Gujarat will increase the enthusiasm of the locals.