New Delhi, Sep 14: Backing veteran India cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, former India opener Virender Sehwag feels the Jharkhand cricketer is the best suited for performing wicketkeeping duties for the team in the ICC World Cup 2019.
According to Sehwag, Dhoni's enormous experience and ability to read the game along with his cricketing skills would be key to India's success in the global cricketing extravaganza next year.
Sehwag, however, has identified Dhoni's successor in the shorter format of the game and it's none other than Delhi-lad Rishabh Pant. Pant slammed his maiden Test ton in his third match in the just concluded England Test series, which Team India lost 1-4. Pant scored a ton in the fourth innings of the match at Oval and became the first wicketkeeper from India to slam a Test century on the English soil.
"Even if you play Pant in ODIs from now, he won't be able to play more than 15-16 ODIs till the World Cup which is far less compared to Dhoni, who has played over 300 ODIs. I would want Dhoni to continue till the World Cup," Sehwag said in an interview with India TV.
"Pant is someone who can hit sixes at his will, but when you talk about Dhoni, he has won matches single-handedly for the country."
Impressed with Pant's batting skills, the Nawab of Najafgarh added further that the 20-year-could be a perfect heir to Dhoni after the World Cup.
"Pant has the right kind of the temperament to be a perfect heir for him. I want Dhoni to hand the baton to Pant when he hangs his boots," Sehwag added.
While talking about the possible outcome of the upcoming Asia Cup, Sehwag said India have a fair chance of retaining the title but they can't afford to take Pakistan, who defeated India in Champions Trophy 2017, lightly.
"If you look at the other teams in the tournament, Sri Lanka is not the same team as it was a few years ago and so is not supposed to mount a serious challenge. With Pakistan, one is never sure which team will turn up on a particular day, as they can be great or poor on any given day. India is the only team to play well consistently in the shorter forms across the world and therefore should win the Cup again," said Sehwag.
The mentor of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab believes Bangladesh are also capable of doing upsets.
"Bangladesh have defeated India before and are a dangerous team but only in their own backyard. Outside the subcontinent, they have hardly ever defeated India and so there is not enough evidence that could prove that they are serious contenders for the title."