‘He thinks everyone is a captain’: Suresh Raina names ‘next MS Dhoni of Team India’
The contributions made by MS Dhoni to Indian cricket is unparalleled, which is probably why the mind goes blank when you have to think of a name as a replacement for the former India captain. However, Suresh Raina, one of Dhoni’s closest friends, has named an India cricketer in whom he sees shades of his Chennai Super Kings captain. And that player is none other than Rohit Sharma.
Raina 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,” which might sound very ambitious at first, but makes you really wonder later.
“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.”
Rohit has the record to prove Raina right. He is the most successful captain in the history of the IPL having led Mumbai Indians to a record four titles in eight years. Besides, whenever Virat Kohli is rested or out injured, Rohit has stepped up to the challenge of captaincy, leading India to wins at the 2018 Nidahas trophy and the Asia Cup the same year. Rohit has led India in 10 ODIs, winning eight of them and 20 T20Is, of which the team has won 16. Besides, Raina believes Rohit’s aura naturally allows players under him to thrive.
“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.”