World Class players of top cricketing nations right now are busy in performing to the best of their ability in the second phase of the Indian Premier League. But the topmost talk in the country of sports is the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian squad for ICC T20 World Cup later this month.
The announcement came as a sweet surprise for the Indian fans as they wished for the reunion of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni for so long and now it is happening. We will be seeing MS Dhoni contributing to team India once again in the world cup tournament.
Dhoni during his tenure, undoubtedly is the most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket, a fabulous wicketkeeper-batsman who led India to two World Cup titles: the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup. He has been given a high level of responsibility yet again, this time as a mentor to team India.
Dhoni being the player in one tournament and then his appointment as a mentor for this tournament raises a question that requires an answer. What will be his role in the presence of the head coach and other support staff? How can he contribute to team India? Who will get more benefit from his presence as a mentor in the team? Let’s talk about how Dhoni’s role as a mentor can help Team India.
How a Mentor is different from a Coach
The basic difference between coach and Mentor is that a mentor is someone who is appointed to assist players with their experience and expertise in the game. Taking this into consideration, who else could be a better fit for this role than Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni has always shown remarkable intelligence in the game of cricket, both on and off the field. His tactic and ability to read the game are unmatchable. So, the role of a mentor is more of keeping the team's motivation high.
On the other side, the coach’s role is mainly taking care of the tactics and techniques of the team. Coaches primarily help players to achieve their targets through techniques, training, and guidance. Coaching is more of a formal relationship between players and coach.
An added advantage to Young Players
MS Dhoni’s presence as a mentor will help the youngsters who got selected in the team. There are quite a few players for whom this will be the first World Cup and having Dhoni beside them to manage the pressure of performing in their 1st world cup will be very helpful. Dhoni has always been a person in the team who is easily approachable to youngsters. In that case, players who might hesitate to talk to their captain may get help in his presence.
Dhoni is more of a Bowlers Captain
In a match, while bowling, field setup according to the bowlers is important and Dhoni gives full freedom to even a young bowler to manage the field according to his choice. As a keeper, Dhoni tries to read the field condition after every bowl as per the bowler’s set up which directly gives confidence to the bowlers. Every player who played under Dhoni’s captaincy had a great equation with him. He accepted suggestions from seniors and junior bowlers equally.
Dhoni’s mentorship may help Virat to lift ICC Trophy
The happiest person with Dhoni’s reunion with the team is captain Virat himself. It is a well-known fact that Dhoni and Kohli share a very special bond. We have never heard of any spat between these too in the past. Kohli has often been seen as the biggest fan of Dhoni’s captaincy. He praised him with all his heart both as a player and as a captain. Despite Virat Kohli’s brilliant captaincy record, the Indian team has failed to lift a single ICC trophy so far. Also, Virat has announced he will step down as T-20 captain after this world cup. In that context, there cannot be a better mentor for India than Dhoni, who could help India to lift another World Cup in the Virat captaincy.
Team Combination Strategies
For a big tournament like the world cup, every team prefers to step out with their best team combination depending on the pitch conditions. Dhoni with his excellent understanding of the field and the mind of a batsman can help the selectors choose the best playing 11. His IPL performances in the current IPL phase will be an added advantage as we are seeing, Chennai Super Kings have won 9 matches out of 13 played. This means he understands the pitch conditions in the UAE and this will help in strategizing team combinations at the time of the World Cup.
Dhoni’s shine with spin bowling
We all have witnessed Mahi’s best captaincy. But when it comes to performing on the spinning track, we see a different level of captaincy and Dhoni utilizes spin bowling with full competency. On a spinning track, he acquired a wide range of spinners like R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Yuvraj Singh during his time. In that case, the selection of veteran Ravichandran Ashwin and young players like Rahul Chahar, Axar Patel, and Varun Chakravarty to the squad may play a vital role in team combination.
All in all, we know Thala loves to take a risk that is mostly calculated and pushes himself out of his comfort zone. All these factors may play a vital role in him mentoring team India in the much-awaited ICC T20 World Cup. The selected squad has both sets of players who have already played under his captaincy like Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Shami, and also young players like Chahar, SKY, Axar Patel, Varun, and a few more who will gain experience of playing in this most prestigious Cricketing tournament. We all wish Mahi the best of luck in helping India to lift another World Cup Trophy with the new responsibility he has been given.