T20 World Cup 2021: “His experience could be a huge advantage for youngsters,” says Gambhir on Dhoni’s new role

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who was part of the inaugural T20 World Cup-winning team, welcomed the decision by BCCI to appoint MS Dhoni as the mentor of Team India for the 2021 T20 World Cup. He said the team would need his experience of handling pressure in such a big tournament.

Dhoni was the captain when India won their only T20 World Cup title in 2007. He later led the Indian side to the 2014 T20 World Cup final, and the 2016 T20 World Cup semi-final. The 40-year-old knows how to deal with pressure when it comes to showpiece tournaments.

Gambhir, speaking to Star Sports, said that Dhoni’s addition to the team in a new role is very good. “A good story to have, but I’m sure his (MS Dhoni) role will be defined because you’ve got the head coach, the assistant coach, and the bowling coach. So, I’m sure there has to be something from Virat Kohli or Ravi Shastri on what they would want apart from what they already have because India has been very successful in T20 Cricket. It’s not like India has struggled in T20 Cricket.”

“Had India struggled in T20 cricket, they might have had to get someone from outside, but Dhoni’s experience and his mindset of handling pressure in those crunched games could be one reason why they’ve got him as a mentor — not purely from the skill point of view, because these guys have got all the skill, to go out there and deliver. It’s probably, how to handle pressure during those important games because India had missed out on those important games — especially the knockout games,” he added.

Gambhir further said that Dhoni would love to share his experience with the new players in the squad who haven’t played a World Cup tournament before. Team India has picked a few youngsters apart from the regular faces in the squad.

“So probably MS Dhoni’s experience of captaining this side and handling that pressure in those important games could be a huge advantage for young players. And you have to remember that most of these guys are young, for example, your Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy or any of these batters play — they’ve not been to any of the World Cups. So, I’m sure MS will share his experience.”

“That probably is the only thing I can think of; apart from that, I don’t see MS Dhoni change anything from a skill point of view. Ravi Shastri’s been there, Vikram Rathour has been there, and the entire support staff is there. So, probably MS can only add his experience to the players while probably going into the crunch games,” he added.