MS Dhoni, who led India to the 2007 T20 title in South Africa, was named as a mentor for the showpiece event, which will be held in UAE from October 17, on Wednesday evening when the board announced the 15-man squad, plus three travelling reserves, for the tournament.
MSK Prasad, who was the chief selector during MS Dhoni’s twilight period from 2016 to 2020, reckons the former skipper is a crucial inclusion; he says Dhoni understands the management and the players, and hence will gel with them quickly.
“Selecting MS Dhoni as a mentor is a wonderful decision; his addition will add value to the team management because Mahi will gel well with everybody,” Prasad told IANS.
I am glad that MS Dhoni has accepted the BCCI’s offer: Jay Shah
BCCI secretary Jay Shah was the one to propose roping in MS Dhoni in the mentor’s role to the team. Shah is happy to gain the services of the 3-time ICC title winner
Shah also stated that captain Virat Kohli, vice-captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Ravi Shastri all have welcomed this decision of his.
“He was okay with my decision and agreed to be a Team Mentor of Team India for the T20 World Cup only. I am glad that MS (Dhoni) has accepted the BCCI’s offer and he is keen to contribute to the national team once again. MS will work closely with Ravi Shastri as well as other support staff to provide support and direction to Team India,” Shah said.
“I spoke to the captain and vice-captain, as well as Ravi Shastri. They all are on the same page, so that’s why this matter has reached this conclusion.”
India take on Pakistan in their opening encounter of the World Cup on October 24 in Dubai. They will then face New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other teams which will come through from Round 1 to the Super 12 stage.
India 15-man squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.