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Amid uncertainty over Dhoni's future beyond the World Cup his India teammate is keen on the leadership role
Suresh Raina has put his hand up to replace MS Dhoni as Chennai Super Kings captain when the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman eventually steps down.
Dhoni has been non-committal about his future beyond the upcoming 50-over World Cup, during which will turn 38.
And if CSK do not yet have a succession plan in place, Raina - who has led the franchise twice in 2019 in Dhoni's absence this season - is hopeful for the role on a permanent basis.
“He has done well in the last couple of years as a batsmen as well team mentor," he said after the 80-run over Delhi Capitals.
"So probably you may see me more next year when he is done but I need more of his calibre.
"But he will continue as long as he wants to play for Chennai, you know him and Chennai.”
Despite having reached the twilight of his career, the former India captain has shown no signs of slowing down during this year's Indian Premier League, having scored 358 runs at an average of 119.13.
His latest contribution came in the thrashing of the Capitals, with 44 from 22 balls accelerating the Chennai innings to 179 for 4 before he registered three dismissals as the visitors were castled for just 99.
A back spasm and illness has forced Dhoni to miss two of CSK's 13 completed matches, both of which ended in defeats to Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians - a possible insight into what life after the legendary figure might look like.
Stephen Fleming is hopeful of retaining the veteran for the 2020 edition of the IPL but admits discussions have not yet begun.
"I certainly was hoping he was going to get through to the World Cup and he is going to do that," he said.
"What he wants to do after that I am not sure. We haven’t had those discussions. Most of the discussion has been around whether he would make it to the World Cup.
"He answered that pretty emphatically in the last 12 months, six months in particular."
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