Former Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has hailed the BCCI for appointing former captain MS Dhoni as Team India’s mentor for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Veteran journalist Indranil Basu caught up with Ojha for a live session on IPL 2021 after the announcement of India’s T20 World Cup squad. Ojha expressed his delight at the prospect of seeing Dhoni back in Indian colours.
The former spinner believes the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning captain’s presence could benefit the Men in Blue in the showpiece event. Ojha said:
“More than surprised, I am really happy as an Indian cricket fan that someone of his (Dhoni) stature is going to be closely associated with the team. He has contributed over the years as captain and as a player. His contribution is important and precious for the Indian team when they go to play in the T20 World Cup,”
The appointment of Dhoni as India’s mentor has taken everyone by surprise. Addressing the media after the squad announcement, BCCI secretary Jay Shah revealed that both Dhoni and the Kohli-Shastri-led team management are on the same page regarding the decision.
“It will only help Virat Kohli” – Pragyan Ojha on MS Dhoni’s appointment as mentor
Dhoni is currently in the United Arab Emirates where he will lead Chennai Super Kings in the second leg of the rescheduled IPL 2021.
Ojha believes that as Dhoni would have played a few games in the UAE before the T20 World Cup, that could contribute massively to Team India in terms of formulating tactics for the tournament.
“It’s a very interesting move by the BCCI to get MS Dhoni in the role of a mentor. He’s going to be there in the UAE for 30-35 days, so he will know exactly what the conditions are, what is happening and what not is happening because first playing himself and then mentoring will be a big cushion,” said Ojha.
Terming the Indian board’s decision ‘clever’, Ojha said that Kohli could hugely benefit from the presence of the experienced Dhoni, noting:
“It’s a very clever decision by the BCCI to add him. With the vast knowledge he has as a leader, it will only help Virat Kohli. We have seen the way Virat has been leading this Indian team, the way he has been contributing as a captain and then two of the greats coming together, sky is the only limit.”
The Indian team will kickstart their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on October 24. It will be the first time in the tournament’s history that the Men in Blue will be led by someone not named MS Dhoni.
However, thanks to the BCCI’s decision, the former stumper will be a part of the dressing room, albeit in a different role.
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