MS Dhoni 2.0: The story behind MSD’s re-visitation of Indian group as ‘guide’ for T20 World Cup 2021

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KEY STORY

  • Just as Indian cricket fans were debating their views on India’s 15-man squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made another big announcement of giving the mentor’s role to MS Dhoni for the showpiece event.
  • Dhoni, who retired from international cricket on August 15 last year, was last seen in the Indian shirt during the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Though not as a player, Dhoni will be donning the India colours again as a mentor of┬áthe Indian team in a supporting role to head coach Ravi Shastri.
  • Though Dhoni’s return came as a surprise to many, this was a pre-planned move by the BCCI who had discussed it with the current Indian team management as well as the wicket-keeper batsman from Jharkhand. Board secretary Jay Shah also revealed the thinking behind bringing Dhoni into the team as a member of the support staff.
  • As per┬áSports Tak, Jay Shah had spoken to Dhoni about such a move and the latter showed keen interest in contributing to the Indian team with the mentorship role. In fact, the first conversation between Shah and Dhoni over this role had reportedly taken place two months ago.
  • During a virtual interaction between the two, Shah offered Dhoni the opportunity to go into the 2021 T20 World Cup as a mentor. Dhoni sought clarity on his role and then agreed to it.
  • After getting Dhoni’s approval, Shah reached out to head coach Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli about the same. The duo also agreed to the proposal, especially considering the T20 World Cup is Shastri’s last assignment as the coach of the Indian team.
  • It was only after getting the trio of Dhoni, Kohli and Shastri came on board that Shah decided to discuss the idea with his colleagues inside the BCCI.

CONCLUSION

  • With Shastri set to leave the head coach’s job after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup, many wonder if this is a way through which the BCCI can ease Dhoni into role. But, that isn’t the case. Dhoni is unlikely to apply for the post of India head coach in the near future. But, the 40-year-old is likely to be used as a mentor in major events.
  • With the years 2022 and 2023 also set to bring about two World Cups (T20 and ODI respectively), Dhoni’s experience and maturity are bound to benefit the Indian team, even if he comes only for tournament-specific assignments.

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