Replacing MS Dhoni as captain is a herculean job. No captain in the world has enjoyed as much success as the former India captain while he was leading the team. He is the most decorated skipper in the history of Indian cricket. In 2007, he led India to the historic triumph in the T20 World Cup while leading the team for the very first time.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was soon handed captaincy of the team across formats and he went on to justify the decision. In 2009, MS Dhoni led India to the top of the ICC Test rankings for the very first time. Two years later, he ended the country’s long wait for another 50-over World Cup before guiding the Men in Blue to victory in the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Till date, he is the only captain to have won all the three ICC tournaments. His successor Virat Kohli has done a good job too across formats but has struggled to deliver the silverware in ICC tournaments. Now only time will tell, how far Kohli goes as captain. But out-of-favour India batsman Suresh Raina does not believe Kohli is similar to MS Dhoni in terms of captaincy.
Instead, he named Rohit Sharma as the one who is closest to MS Dhoni. The southpaw believes Rohit has amazing credentials as captain. The left-handed batsman, who has played under Dhoni for India and in the IPL under CSK and also under Rohit at the 2018 Nidahas Trophy, called the opening batsman the “next MS Dhoni”.
“I would say he is the next MS Dhoni for the Indian cricket team,” Raina said on The Super Over Podcast. “I have seen him, he is calm, he likes to listen, he likes to give confidence to the players and on top of that, he likes to lead from the front. When the captain leads from the front and at the same time, he gives respect to the dressing room atmosphere, you know you have it all.
“He thinks everyone is a captain. I have seen him; I have played under him when we won the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. I have seen how he gives confidence to young players like Shardul [Thakur], Washington Sundar and [Yuzvendra] Chahal of course,” added the Uttar Pradesh star.
Raina further explained how players thrive around Rohit. He said the Mumbai star’s aura naturally allows players under him to perform well.
“Around him, players enjoy the intensity, they enjoy his aura. I think when you enjoy the aura of a player, you like to be positive and I think that is what he is good at,” Raina said.
“He is one of the top-most, after MS Dhoni, who was brilliant. He has won more [IPL] trophies than MS, but I would say they both are very similar. Both of them, as a captain, like to listen. When your captain is listening, you can solve a lot of problems, you can solve the mental problems of the players. So in my book, they both are wonderful,” he added.
Rohit Sharma’s captaincy record:
Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, has a fine record as captain. He is the most successful captain in the history of IPL in terms of trophies won. In just seven years, he has led Mumbai Indians to 4 IPL trophies. On the other hand, MS Dhoni has led CSK to three titles while Kohli is yet to lay his hands on the coveted trophy.
Besides, whenever Kohli is rested or out injured, Rohit has stepped up to the challenge of captaincy and has done really well. In 2018, he led India to triumph in the Nidahas Trophy and the Asia Cup. So far, he has led India in 10 ODIs, winning eight of them and 20 T20Is, of which the team has won 16.