Can M. S. Dhoni be India's talisman?

T20 World Cup: Dhoni’s presence at the will certainly be of immense help to the team management in UAE. Despite tasting unprecedented success, a world title has eluded the Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.

M. S. Dhoni has agreed to join the India squad for the T20 World Cup only. - REUTERS

M.S. Dhoni will return to the Indian dressing room for the first time after the 2019 World Cup semifinal. The most successful Indian captain in the limited-overs format will take over the mantle of Team Mentor for the T20 World Cup campaign.

While announcing the squad for the tournament, to be hosted by the BCCI in United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17, BCCI secretary Jay Shah stressed that Dhoni has agreed to join the squad only for the marquee event.

“As far as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai. He was okay with my decision and agreed to be the mentor of Team India for the T20 World Cup only. I discussed this issue with my colleagues also,” said Shah, in his first official interaction with the media after taking over as BCCI secretary in October 2019.

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“I spoke to the captain and vice-captain as well as coach Ravi Shastri. They were all on the same page and that’s why this matter reached its conclusion.”

The timing of Dhoni’s appointment — with head coach Shastri’s tenure set to end after the T20 World Cup — is bound to create a doubt whether the World Cup-winning captain’s stint with the Indian team may continue. But, as Shah emphasised, the arrangement is only for the T20 World Cup as of now.

While the national team will have a mentor for the first time, it will not be the first time that the head coach will have company at the top of the team management. During Dhoni’s tenure as skipper, Shastri was the Team Director, with Duncan Fletcher as the head coach for the 2015 World Cup.

Dhoni’s presence is likely to be of immense help to the team management in the UAE. Despite tasting unprecedented success across the globe in the Test arena, a World title in the limited-overs formats has eluded the captain-coach combination of Kohli-Shastri.

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In fact, it was Dhoni who won India its last ICC title — Champions Trophy, 2013. It was the third World crown Dhoni clinched as India captain after the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 T50 World Cup.

Dhoni will hope to make a big influence on the players and help India regain the T20 World Cup.

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