Playing for over a decade now, India’s wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been the most successful Indian captain in the history of Indian cricket. Started his career in 2004, India’s former skipper went on to become the top-notch finisher in the world, having won India matches from the most unlikely positions on a number of occasions.
Having played for over a decade now, Dhoni won India every ICC Trophy namely, ICC T-20 World Cup, ICC 2011 World CUP, and ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Much like Sachin Tendulkar, Dhoni also boasts of a huge fan base across the nation, with millions of fans coming to the stadium just to see the 37-year-old Mahi bat.
MS Dhoni is, currently, 37-year-old and just like any other sportsperson, Dhoni too has to hang his boots someday, and after witnessing his unexpected retirement from Test Cricket, Mahi calling it a day from ODI cricket after the World Cup 2019 should not come as a shocker to the cricketing fraternity.
Apart from MS Dhoni’s finishing ability, he is regarded as India’s current best wicket-keeper in the world. His wicket-keeping skills plus the experience he brings in the side is exemplary.
Perhaps, none of the current wicket-keeper in the Indian set-up can replace a man who has served Indian Cricket for close to 15 years now. It’s true, you can’t get another MS Dhoni but it’s time when the selectors should think of options to fill his position as the Chennai Super Kings skipper will turn 38 this year.
Here’s look at some of the ideal replacement for MS Dhoni:
#1 Rishabh Pant
Touted as the ideal replacement for MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant leads the list with most number of votes in his stride. Ever since making his debut in August 2018, Pant has impressed everyone with his hitting abilities. Much like Dhoni in his early career, Pant is an aggressive batsman who has the potential to win the match for India owing to his see the ball, hit the ball ability. Though, his wicket-keeping skills are still a matter of concern for the Team.
Pant came into the reckoning when he notched up a fine 18-ball century against Nepal in the U-19 World Cup, followed by a century in the same tournament which saw Delhi Daredevils picked up the youngster at a whopping price of 1.9 crores.
#2 KL Rahul
One of those talented players, KL Rahul has always enjoyed backing from the selectors. The 26-year old batsman has a roller-coaster ride in the Indian Cricket Team, who has been in and out of the team on a number of occasions. Rahul is currently fighting for his position in the World Cup squad which is looking highly unlikely with only one ODI left to play in the India-Australia series.
Apart from Pant, KL Rahul is certainly one of the highly regarded wicket-keeper batsmen to be featured in the list. Though his credentials as a wicket-keeper still have to be justified, but if he can work on his work behind the stumps, it will be a massive boost to the team as they can experiment with a number of combinations.
#3 Sanju Samson
For those of you who don’t know, the 24-year old Sanju has been in the reckoning much earlier than Rishabh Pant. In fact, Samson has made his debut for India in a T-20 game against Zimbabwe in 2015, but couldn’t get to play after that.
However, Samson has still been in contention, thanks to his impressive run in the IPL seasons. Australia’s legendary spinner, Shane Warne recently lauded the batsman, claiming that Samson will be the highest run-scorer in this year’s IPL season. For that, we will have to wait and see.
#4 Ishan Kishan
Hailing from the same state as MS Dhoni, 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup captain is one special talent. Kishan had a fantabulous 2016-2017 Ranji season, ending with 799 runs for the Jharkhand side, as they finished runners-up in that season.
With age on his side and consistent IPL performances under his belt, the Mumbai Indians batsman is certainly in the pipeline for the ideal candidate for Dhoni’s replacement.
#5 Dinesh Karthik
Time and again, Dinesh Karthik has proved his mettle as one of the best Indian wicket-keepers in the shorter format. Karthik might have been in the wrong 30s, but the 33-year old wicket-keeper is still one of the fittest Indian cricketers in the side and certainly has in him to play for another 3-5 years.
What do you think who should replace MS Dhoni after his retirement from shorter format of the game? Tell us in the comment section.