Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim opined that MS Dhoni‘s “outside perspective” is the key reason for his appointment as a team mentor for the T20 World Cup. The 3-time ICC trophy winner was roped in by the board as a mentor for the mega-event to take place from October 17 in Oman and the UAE.
Saba Karim highlighted that Dhoni, who is still an active player in the IPL, will be providing his suggestions on the playing eleven, tactics, and also share his invaluable experience with the youngsters in the squad.
“I think the biggest reason to include MS Dhoni is sometimes you need an outside perspective to say whether the strategies you have made, whether the XI you are playing is right. When you have an experienced player like MS Dhoni who is experienced, has been a world champion and is playing cricket actively, his contribution is important,” Saba Karim told Sports Tak.
The 53-year-old, however, also emphasised that Dhoni and Kohli’s relationship off the field will be crucial as well and Indian cricket doesn’t need any more controversies.
“A word of caution will be to define MS Dhoni’s role clearly because you don’t want controversy. We all can hope that the pairing of Kohli and Dhoni off the field will work well and provide India success,” he added.
Because the tournament is played in the UAE, I will place my bet on India: Saba Karim
For Saba Karim, West Indies, India and England and one among South Africa and New Zealand are the top contenders for the title. However, considering the conditions in the UAE, he feels, Kohli’s side are best placed to win the T20 World Cup, a trophy the Men In Blue haven’t been able to win since 2007.
“I think it is West Indies, India, England and a toss-up between South Africa and New Zealand. West Indies have won the World Cup twice but because the tournament is played in the UAE, I will place my bet on India,” he concluded.
India will take on Pakistan in their opening encounter on October 24 in Dubai. They will then meet New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other teams who will qualify from Round 1 in the Super 12 stage.
India’s 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.
Reserves: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur