A suave wicket-keeper, a smashing tailender, a master strategist and captain cool – Dhoni dons many hats in the Indian cricket team. Though the master cricketer hasn’t announced his intentions to retire from international cricket yet, in a hypothetical situation, if Dhoni were to retire post the ongoing World Cup 2019, here are a few young and upcoming Indian wicket-keepers who would be able to fill his shoes.
- Ishan Kishan
He has been making news for some time now. This young cricketer from Jharkhand led India’s U-19 team to the U-19 World Cup final against Bangladesh in 2016. Since then, he has been making national news.
He has had a very good domestic season in the last couple of years. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he scored an overall 405 runs in 9 innings, with a strike rate of 111.57. In the Deodhar Trophy, he scored 188 runs finishing the tournament with a strike rate of 112.57.
The left-hander has good glove work as well behind the stumps, making him one of the potential candidates to replace MS, when he retires.
- Dinesh Karthik
Not a new face, this wicket-keeper batsman from Tamil Nadu has been around the Indian cricket scene for quite a few years now. An interesting fact here is that Dinesh Karthik made both his ODI and test debut well before Dhoni.
However, Dhoni’s consistency and strong batting and keeping skills, made the Indian selection board pick Dhoni over Karthik. Though Dinesh has been constantly in and out of the Indian team, he has proved his mettle in the few opportunities that he got.
He has been a good finisher, just like Dhoni. And, fans speculate that once Dhoni retires, Karthik may get the role of wicket-keeper and finisher, just like Dhoni.
- Rishabh Pant
He is one of India’s upcoming cricket stars. He pulled the spotlight with his performance in international test cricket. This made him get included as part of the squad for the ongoing World Cup 2019. And, with Shikhar Dhawan out of the game, Rishabh Pant has become part of the playing squad.
Though Rishabh Pant is good behind the stumps, his critics complain that he doesn’t show off his batting skills in ODI unlike in test matches where he shines really well. But, with his batting and keeping skills improving considerably the last few months and now being part of Team India for the World Cup, fans and critics regard him as one of the strong contenders to don the gloves once Captain Cool retires.
- Sanju Samson
This cricketer from Kerala has already made a name for himself with his stellar performances for Rajasthan Royals in IPL. Though he has not made a mark in List A cricket yet, Indian selectors seem to rate him highly as he was selected for Indian A team. Sanju Samson has already played one international T20 match for India.
Just 24 years, he definitely has time on his side, increasing his chances of becoming the permanent wicket-keeper for team India.
- KL Rahul
He is the most accomplished batsmen and the most famous in this list. He has played for Team India in all formats – test, ODI and T20. He made his international debut in 2014 against Australia. In the short time he has played, he has scored test centuries against West Indies, Sri Lanka and Australia. He is part of the Team India squad in the ongoing World Cup 2019.
The only problem here is that KL Rahul is not considered a specialist keeper like the others in this list. However, as he is a good batsman, chances are that he may be considered as a replacement for Dhoni.
Who do you think will replace Captain Cool as wicket-keeper when he announces his retirement?