T20 World Cup: Sunil Gavaskar hails decision to appoint MS Dhoni as mentor, hopes ex-captain doesn’t clash with coach Ravi Shastri – Former India captain turned broadcaster Sunil Gavaskar has hailed the team’s decision to bring MS Dhoni into the fold as a mentor for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup. BCCI secretary Jay Shah declared in his team announcement on Wednesday that the former Indian captain will travel with the team and be a part of the backroom staff as a mentor during the tournament in the UAE. Incidentally, Dhoni was the captain during India’s 2007 T20 World Cup win, and had featured in every edition before his retirement.
Speaking on Aaj Tak, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said that the return of MS Dhoni is certainly a piece of good news for Team India. He said, “Under his leadership, India won the 2011 World Cup and four years before that, India won the 2007 T20 World Cup. It’s definitely going to benefit Team India. MS Dhoni’s appointment itself will be a big boost for Team India. He has so much experience, he knows everything. There was no bigger, destructive player than MS Dhoni when he was active in international cricket.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 8, 2021
However, Gavaskar exercised caution and mentioned that the dynamic between coach Ravi Shastri and MS Dhoni regarding their roles will be important to India’s chances of making it work. Speaking from his previous experience of being appointed as a consultant to the Indian team, Gavaskar said, “At the time, (then-head coach) John Wright was a bit nervous, he probably thought I was going to take his place. But Ravi Shastri knows that MS Dhoni has very little interest in coaching. Ravi Shastri and MS Dhoni, if the partnership goes well, India will benefit a great deal from it.”
The 40-year-old Dhoni retired from international cricket last year having played his last game in the 2019 World Cup semi-final. It is believed that he has brought for his experience in devising white-ball strategy and also knowing how to win crucial ICC tournaments which have not been the case with his successor.