The left-handed batsman compared his demeanour with Dhoni, who was India’s most successful captain in terms of global titles won.
“I would say he is the next MS Dhoni for the Indian cricket team,” Raina said on The Super Over Podcast.
“I have seen him, he is calm, he likes to listen. He likes to give confidence to the players and on top of that, he likes to lead from the front. When a captain leads from the front and, at the same time, he gives respect to the dressing-room atmosphere, you know you have it all,” he added.
Raina said Sharma is an inclusive captain and brings everyone into the game.
“He thinks everyone is a captain. I have seen him, I have played under him when we won the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. I have seen how he gives confidence to young players like Shardul [Thakur], Washington Sundar and [Yuzvendra] Chahal,” he said.
Apart from being deputy to Virat Kohli in the Indian cricket team, Sharma has had a stellar career as a captain in the Indian Premier League where he has won the title a record four times. Dhoni has a higher win percentage as captain in the IPL but Sharma has more titles.
“MS Dhoni was brilliant. He [Rohit] has won more [IPL] trophies than MS, but they both are very similar. Both of them, as captains, like to listen. When your captain is listening, you can solve a lot of problems, you can solve the mental aspects of the players. So in my book, they both are wonderful,” Raina said.
“Around him (Sharma), players enjoy the intensity, they enjoy his aura. When you enjoy the aura of a player, you like to be positive and I think that is what he is good at,” he added.
Speaking on his ambitions to play for India, Raina said he hasn’t given up hopes of turning out in the blue jersey.
“After every operation [injury-related] I feel I’m a different person. You know how it is after a rehab - after every rehab, I felt I became tougher, after every rehab I thought I’ll play again. But I don’t want to be so pushy. Somehow I feel I can still play but at the same time I want to enjoy my cricket. I haven’t enjoyed my cricket in the last couple of years,” Raina said.
“So the next three-four years me playing or not is destiny but I just want to go out there and smile on the field and enjoy my batting and fielding. Cricket has become very commercial but at the end of the day, you need to go out there and come back as a happy soul. That’s what I’m searching for in my mind when I go the ground and come back, I want to be happy. I just want to try one more time and see how it goes,” he added.
Raina last played for India in an ODI against England in 2018.
Watch the full episode of The Super Over podcast here: