Former India captain MS Dhoni’s retirement and his future with the national team remains a hot topic of discussion among the fans and cricket fraternity.
With the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman taking a sabbatical from the game since India’s shocking loss against New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup semi-final in England, the speculations are rife whether Dhoni would return to the Indian team, or if he is going to hang his boots.
Fans continue to speculate what lies ahead in Dhoni’s future, while cricketers continue to debate who could fill in Dhoni’s shoes when, he, does eventually retires. Veteran Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa too has expressed his thoughts on who might be the next person to carry forward Dhoni’s legacy as Team India’s wicketkeeper-batsman for years to come.
Uthappa, during his chat with Cricfit, picked Riyan Parag as India’s ‘next MS Dhoni’.
“Currently, the young player which excites me out of my socks in Riyan Parag. I am extremely excited, and he is the one to watch out for. I think he is someone who is looked after well and dealt well and nurtured well and will represent India for a very long time. He could be India’s answer to the next MS Dhoni,” the 34-year-old told Cricfit.
Parag, who is a part of Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the IPL, featured in the 2019 edition and showcased his batting skills on a couple of occasions.
The 18-year-old Assam born cricketer also engraved his name in the history books when he smashed a half-century and became the youngest player to achieve the feat in the history of IPL.
Steve Smith, RR’s captain, was also in awe of Parag and tipped him to have a great future. “Parag was really impressive; I have been watching him in the nets and with the bat looks like a seasoned campaigner. He’s a great kid and has a great future; I hope I was as confident when I was 17. When you are young and come into a team, you have a carefree attitude and kept playing his shots,” he had said.
Parag, the former U-19 World Cup-winning team member, has 659 runs and 14 wickets in 13 first-class matches. He has also played 24 List A and 24 T20s.