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T20 World Cup 2021: “Hope there is no disagreement between Shastri and Dhoni” – Sunil Gavaskar weighs in on coach vs mentor debate

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Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar opined that MS Dhoni’s appointment as mentor of the Indian Team for the T20 World Cup was an interesting move. According to Gavaskar, Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri need to be on the same page for Indian cricket to benefit from BCCI’s move.

The Indian selectors announced the squad for the T20 World Cup on Wednesday (September 8). Along with the team, the BCCI also named former captain Dhoni as mentor of the side. While most Indian cricket experts and fans hailed the move, some wondered over the need for a mentor in addition to the head coach.

Speaking from personal experience, Gavaskar admitted that things can get tricky.

“When I joined the Indian team as a consultant in 2004, John Wright (then Indian coach) became a little nervous. He thought that I wanted to replace him, so it’s very important for both a coach and mentor to have good balance,” the Indian legend told Aaj Tak

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Gavaskar agreed that if Dhoni and Shastri can work together as a team, they can do a very good job at the T20 World Cup.

“Now, Ravi Shastri knows that MS Dhoni isn’t interested in coaching. If Shastri and Dhoni gel well, Indian team will be benefited. However, if there is some disagreement in terms of tactics or selection, then it could affect the India team. But Dhoni’s mere presence will boost the presence of the Indian team. He has so much experience. Everyone knows that Dhoni was the most destructive player during his time in international cricket,” Gavaskar added.

“I just hope there is no disagreement between the coach and the mentor – Shastri and Dhoni. If they can be on the same page, Indian team will reap huge benefits,” he concluded.

Dhoni’s appointed as mentor will mark his return to the Indian dressing room more than two years after he last played international cricket. The 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand was his last match for the country.


“They are all on the same page” – Jay Shah on Dhoni’s appointment

BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Wednesday revealed that he spoke to Dhoni as well as the Virat Kohli-led team management over the topic of having a mentor for the T20 World Cup. Shah stated that both parties were on the same page regarding the decision.

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

India will kick-off their T20 World Cup campaign by taking on arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on October 24.


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