Why Gavaskar is a bit sceptical about Dhoni’s choice as Team India mentor

However, Gavaskar says he hopes the appointment will not lead to a ‘clash’ with coach Ravi Shastri

Under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the 2011 World Cup and four years before that, India won the 2007 T20 World Cup | File Photo

Former Indian cricketers, including the legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar, have welcomed MS Dhoni’s appointment as India’s mentor for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the 2011 World Cup and four years before that, India won the 2007 T20 World Cup, Gavaskar told Aaj Tak. “It’s definitely going to benefit Team India.”

However, Gavaskar said he hoped the appointment would not lead to a “clash” with coach Ravi Shastri. He recalled his own work as consultant in 2004, when John Wright was the India coach.

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Also read: Ashwin in T20 World Cup squad; Dhoni joins Team India as mentor

“At the time [2004] 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,” he told the channel.

“But if there are disagreements over tactics and team selection, then there might be bit of an effect on the team. But 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.

Gavaskar also commented on veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin return to the ODI team after a gap of almost four years.

“Ashwin’s return is good news. But whether or not he will find a place in the XI, that’s something we have to wait and watch. Picking him in the 15 is good, even in England Test squad he was picked as part of the 15, but he is not playing in the XI. He has been given a consolation. To make up for the disappointment of England Tests, they probably might have given him the spot. We have to wait and see if he plays in the XI,” he said.

Former India batsman Suresh Raina welcomed the board’s “fabulous decision” to give the mentor job to his good friend Dhoni, and called India’s T20 World Cup side “balanced”.

Raina also said it was good to have Ashwin back.

Also read: Dhoni: The rockstar who turned into a sage

“All the very best to Team India on the upcoming T20 World Cup, the selected squad looks very balanced. Good to have Ashwin back in the team, and a fabulous decision by BCCI to have the man himself Dhoni bhai as the mentor,” Raina tweeted.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Wednesday said he spoke to former skipper Dhoni on being the mentor.

“So as far as MS Dhoni is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai so he was OK with the decision and he agreed to be the team mentor for T20 World Cup only. I discussed this particular issue with my colleagues also, they are all on the same page,” Shah said at a virtual press conference.

“I spoke to captain and vice-captain as well as head coach Ravi Shastri, they all are on the same page so that is why we reached a conclusion,” he added.

India squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Varun, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan.

Stand-byes: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

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