The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 15-member India squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup on Wednesday. The global showpiece event will be played in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE) between October 17 to November 14.
While the return of senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin shook everyone, the appointment of former India skipper MS Dhoni as Team India’s mentor for the multi-team tournament gathered maximum attention.
As soon as the apex Indian board announced MSD’s name, it triggered social media and attracted huge reactions from all corners, including fans, analysts, and former cricketers. Notably, this will be Dhoni’s first involvement with the senior team since his retirement from international cricket last year.
While the majority celebrated the appointment of Dhoni, many experts of the game raised questions on his inclusion since India already have a Head Coach and batting, bowling as well as fielding coaches. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir asserted something similar, stating that Dhoni’s role will be defined as India already has plenty of experts in the coaching staff.
“I’m sure his role will be defined because you’ve got the head coach, you’ve got the assistant coach, you’ve got the bowling coach, so I’m sure there has to be something or something from Virat Kohli or Ravi Shastri what they would want apart from what they already have because India has been very successful in T20 cricket. It’s not that India struggled in T20 cricket, had they struggled, they might have had to get someone from outside,” Gambhir said on the ‘Follow the Blues’ show on Star Sports.
However, Gambhir also shared his thoughts on the possible reason behind Dhoni’s appointment for the mentor’s role. The cricketer-turned-politician reckoned Dhoni’s experience in handling pressure in crunch games could be the reason why he was roped in for the special role.
“MS’s experience or mindset of handling pressure in those crunch games could be one reason they got him as a mentor, not purely from the skill point of view because these guys have all got the skill to go out there and deliver.”
“It’s probably how to handle pressure in those important games because India has actually missed out on those important games, especially the knockout games, so probably MS’s experience of captaining the side or handling that pressure in those important games could be a huge advantage for these young players,” the Delhi-born added.
Gambhir opined that the veteran stumper would share his experience and learning of the games with youngsters, which will work to their advantage as most of the young guys haven’t yet played any world cup event.
“You have to remember that most of these guys are young. For example, if Rahul Chahar plays or Varun Chakravarthy plays, or any of these players play, they have not played any of the world cups, so I’m sure MS will share his experience,” Gambhir added further.