Over the years, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has had to perform multiple roles in the Indian team. He has played the role of the captain, wicketkeeper, and most importantly, a deadly finisher who has rescued India many a time. Any team will be blessed to have a player with half of the abilities that MSD has and India has been lucky to have the man from Ranchi.
Dhoni might have resigned as captain of the national team but continues to be a leader who helps his captain in setting fields, talks to the bowlers about the lines they need to bowl and guides young batsmen in the middle. The experience that Dhoni brings to the Indian unit is invaluable.
He is in the twilight of his playing career, though. It is likely that the wicket-keeper batsman will call it quits after the ICC World Cup 2019 in England. Sure, there are can never be another ‘Captain Cool’ but one can learn from the career of Dhoni and try to replicate his approach to the game.
We will see in this slideshow, the players who can become the next Dhoni:
#3 Ishan Kishan
Just like his idol, Ishan Kishan is from the state of Bihar and is the current captain of the Jharkhand team in the Ranji trophy. He is an attacking top-order batsman and led the Indian Cricket Team at the Under-19 World Cup in 2016.
He is being considered as the one for the future and was bought by Mumbai Indians for a whopping INR 6.2 crore at the IPL auctions in 2018. He repaid the faith bestowed by the franchise in him whenever he got to play for them, providing several blistering starts at the top of the order with Surya Kumar Yadav.
Kishan, along with Rishabh Pant, are the potential heirs to Dhoni’s throne, as they have the same kind of attacking stroke-making and a fearless approach to batting.
#2 Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson first caught everyone’s attention when he represented the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2013, where many pundits and cricket experts recognized his potential. Even the legendary leg-spinner, Shane Warne, once touted him as the next big thing in Indian cricket.
The right-hander’s immense batting talent is on display every time he takes the field.
But unfortunately, with the intense pressure of expectation on his shoulders, he struggled to perform consistently, and several off-field issued didn’t help him either.
Samson has represented India in a solitary T20I, but with age on his side and enough experience gained in the domestic circuit, he can be a man for Indian cricket in its near future.
#1 Rishabh Pant
While the others on the list have not made their debut for India in Test cricket, Rishabh Pant has already made an impact in the longest format of the game and, in a short span of time. He scored a century in India’s fifth Test against England in England – a field, which no Indian wicket-keeper could achieve before him.
Even the great Dhoni has not scored a Test century outside Asia, but Pant managed to do it only in the third Test match of his career. His potential, combined with a fearless approach down the order, makes him a dangerous customer for the opposition.