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Rohit Sharma is the next MS Dhoni: Suresh Raina

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NEW DELHI: No Mohammed Shami? No problem. No Virat Kohli? No problem either. India captain Rohit Sharma led a young Team India to a series-clinching win in Ranchi.

India defeated England by 5 wickets in a thrilling contest in the fourth Test to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.

The fifth and the last Test match will be played in Dharamsala from March 7.

In the absence of premier pacer Shami, star batsman Virat, and middle order star Shreyas Iyer, Rohit showed confidence in the newcomers by handing Test debuts to Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel, and pacer Akash Deep.

India pulled off a tricky chase of 192 on day four in Ranchi, with wicketkeeper-batsman Jurel (39) and Shubman Gill (52) sharing an unbeaten stand of 72.

Man-of-the-match Jurel, who debuted in the Rajkot Test, made a significant impact by scoring 90 runs, rescuing India from a precarious position of 177 for 7 in the first innings to a total of 307 on day three.

India vs England 4th Test: India beat England, secure 17th straight Test series win at home

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal emerged as the standout performer, amassing 655 runs in four matches, including two double centuries in the second and third Test matches.

Bengal pacer Akash Deep made an immediate impression on his debut, unsettling England with three wickets on the opening day of the Ranchi Test.

Akash Deep was included in the playing eleven after pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was rested.

Middle-order batsman Sarfaraz Khan also impressed on debut in Rajkot when he scored 62 and 68 not out in India’s 434-run hammering of England.

Former India cricketer Suresh Raina hailed captain Rohit for his brilliant calls and for using young players in the Test series against England.

TimesofIndia.com caught up with Raina, who is representing Uttar Pradesh in the Indian Veteran Premier League (IVPL), and spoke about Rohit’s captaincy, Juel’s knock, MS Dhoni, and much more..

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Rohit Sharma used his young players really well in the series…

He is the next MS Dhoni. He has done well. He has been giving a lot of chances to youngsters the way MS Dhoni did. I played a lot of cricket under MS Dhoni. Sourav Ganguly supported his team a lot. Then MS Dhoni came and led from the front. Rohit is going in the right direction. He is a brilliant captain.

On Dhruv Jurel, the Man of the Match…

I have played matches with Jurel for Uttar Pradesh.

I want to give credit to Rohit Sharma. He first gave Sarfaraz the chance and then made Jurel part of the team. Jurel was just amazing. He played a superb knock in the first innings and then in the second. I am rating his knock special because the wicket was turning and he batted beautifully. He is so calm and composed. That’s the best part of him. I am really impressed with his wicketkeeping. He was just amazing behind the wickets.

He has got that fearless attitude since he comes from an Army family. He has worked hard for this. I have seen him working so hard at the nets. I just want to wish him all the best.

Akash Deep was phenomenal in the debut Test. Your comments?

He has bowled really well. He came from Bihar and represented Bengal then. It was quite a journey and in the end all his hard work paid off. Rohit has been amazing with his planning. He has been giving a lot of chances to the youngsters.

The way he is rotating the players is something I have never seen in the last couple of years. Whenever the fast bowlers came in the last couple of years, we have seen injuries. But Rohit has been managing that really well. Being a captain is not easy, especially when you are playing in India. Earlier, we used to have one fast bowler and 3-4 spinners. Now, he is bringing two fast bowlers. He brought in Siraj and Bumrah. He sent Bumrah back and managed his workload well and then handed debut to Akash Deep.

Rohit has been handling the pressure and players really well.

Will this be MS Dhoni’s last IPL?

I have no idea about this. But he is working really hard. He is looking really fit. This is up to him. He will be in a yellow jersey and entertain the fans. Fans just love him. He will do really well I am sure. He has given a lot to cricket.

On RCB’s IPL trophy drought…

Virat deserves a trophy. He has done so well for the Indian team and RCB for years. He has had a lot of success at RCB and his fans deserve to hold a trophy for him.

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