As much as the concept of inheritance is crucial in studying disciplines like wealth concentrations and inequality in society, it is equally essential in analysing the cricket teams and impact one generation leaves on its succeeding one.
When Virat Kohli succeeded MS Dhoni as a captain, he inherited much more than a mere post of captaincy. Kohli inherited a team full of stars- a framework, philosophy and even a burden of pasts upon which he has to build a new team across all formats.
Similarly, Dhoni too inherited all such pros and cons from his predecessor Sourav Ganguly.
Now, there’s often a comparison and debate about who was the rich heirs and who was poor. For instance, Gautam Gambhir once remarked that Ganguly gave world-class talents to Dhoni, but the latter couldn’t do the same for his successor, Kohli.
To put things into perspective, here is the list of 5 world-class players which MS Dhoni gave to Virat Kohli:
1.) Ravindra Jadeja
After a disastrous performance in 2009 T20 World Cup, Ravindra Jadeja became a laughing stock for Indian fans. Jadeja was sent ahead of Yuvraj Singh in their Super 8 match against England, but the former failed to capitalise, making an infuriating 25 runs off 35 balls.
India lost that match and ruled out of the event. Such was the disgrace that even the then Indian skipper Dhoni had to apologise in public for his decision. But, a lot has changed since then.
The unfazed Dhoni trusted his instincts and kept backing the all-rounder. It was a historic whitewash against Australia in 2013 that started the story of redemption for Jadeja, who went on to form one of the most fearsome spin duos with Ravichandran Ashwin.
Now there’s no looking back for the 31-years-old. Blossomed under Dhoni, Jadeja reached the peak of his career under the leadership of Virat Kohli, and he remains a crucial member of the squad across all formats.
2.) Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan was a player destined to accomplish big things with Team India. There was never a doubt after his terrific performance in the 2004 U-19 World Cup, where he scored a massive 505 runs, including three centuries.
However, it took almost a decade for the Delhi-born to exhibit his potential in the international arena. Dhawan made his Test debut against Australia in 2013. He made a fiery 187 in his first innings, claiming his availability and adeptness to fulfil the big shoes of Virender Sehwag.
His performance in ICC tournaments needs no introduction, especially in ICC Champions Trophy in June 2013 where he scored 363 runs in just five games. Dhoni always spoke highly of the stylish left-handed batsman.
Dhawan added a bit of much-needed experience and flair to Kohli’s young and relatively inexperienced squad.
3.) Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma was an immensely talented batsman from Mumbai who was continually falling short of replicating his technical proficiency and virtuosity at an international level.
It was skipper Dhoni’s masterstroke to promote Sharma to the opening position that transformed the latter’s career. Along with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit formed an intimidating opening partnership, terrorising bowlers and playing too many match-defining knocks.
The Mumbai-born himself has acknowledged Dhoni’s contribution in making him what he is today in the cricketing world.
4.) Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar made his debut against Pakistan in 2012 and bowled an economical spell, taking two wickets in nine overs and giving 27 runs.
A true craftsman with the ball, his ability to swing it both ways has earned him a lot of recognition. A new ball specialist in his early days, Bhuvneshwar was always seen as a one-trick pony who offered no real threat to the batsman in unfavourable conditions.
Dhoni always used Bhuvi’s bowling quota in the earlier stage as the pacer was highly vulnerable in death overs.
However, the 2017 edition ICC Champions Trophy was the second-coming for the speedster as Bhuvi came as a much-improved bowler and led the Indian pace attack with Jasprit Bumrah.
For any captain, bowler like Bhuvneshwar is nothing less than a privilege.
5.) Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is one of those players who shot to public consciousness through his exploits in Indian Premier League (IPL). Under the tutelage of Sri Lankan veteran Lasith Malinga at Mumbai Indians (MI), he mastered the art of bowling toe-crushing yorkers at an alarming consistency and perfection.
Bumrah made his debut in ODI cricket under the captaincy of Dhoni at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) against Australia in January 2016.
Today, he is the vital cog of the Indian bowling unit and will be playing an important role when India tours Australia later this year.