Rohit Sharma, The Next MS Dhoni For Indian Team: Suresh Raina

New Delhi: India left-handed batsman Suresh Raina said that he feels Rohit Sharma who is the limited overs vice-captain for the national team has the potential to become the next MS Dhoni because of his leadership quality and effect on the dressing room.

Rohit Sharma’s captaincy record has been quite impressive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he has led Mumbai Indians to four titles. The franchise, under his captaincy, has become the most successful team in the tournament. Besides, while donning the Indian jersey, Sharma has tasted victory as an Indian captain by leading the team two Asia Cup glory in 2018.

On a show named The Super Over Podcast, hosted by South-African all-rounder JP Duminy, young Indian batswoman Jemimah Rodrigues and podcaster Liam Flint, Raina said, “I would say that he is the next MS Dhoni for the Indian cricket team.”

“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 gives respect to the dressing room atmosphere, you know you have it all,” Raina added.

Applauding Sharma’s attitude of giving confidence to young players and having a positive effect on the team, Raina opined, “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.”

“Around him, players enjoy the intensity, they enjoy his aura. 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. “MS Dhoni was brilliant. He [Rohit] has won more [IPL] trophies than MS, but they both are very similar. Both of them, as captains, like to listen. When your captain is listening, you can solve a lot of problems, you can solve the mental aspects of the players. So in my book, they both are wonderful,” he further added.

Raina was also questioned about whether he’d like to make an international comeback or not, he said that he’s up to it and would like another opportunity of representing the country.

“Definitely, I feel I still have it,” he said, adding, “After every operation [injury-related] I feel I’m a different person. You know how it is after a rehab – after every rehab I felt I became tougher, after every rehab I thought I’ll play again. But I don’t want to be so pushy. Somehow I feel I can still play but at the same time I want to enjoy my cricket. I haven’t enjoyed my cricket in the last couple of years.

“So the next three-four years me playing or not is destiny but I just want to go out there and smile on the field and enjoy my batting and fielding. Cricket has become very commercial but at the end of the day, you need to go out there and come back as a happy soul. That’s what I’m searching for in my mind, when I go the ground and come back, I want to be happy. I just want to try one more time and see how it goes,” Raina said.

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Sakchi Khandelwal

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