T20 World Cup 2021: It’s players’ responsibility to deliver in middle; Dhoni as mentor a good move- Gavaskar

Indian team | Getty

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has lauded the move of bringing in MS Dhoni as the mentor of the Indian team for the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 but said that eventually, it’s up to the players to deliver the goods on the field.

India will begin their T20 World Cup 2021 journey against archrivals Pakistan on Sunday, Oct 24 in Dubai in a night game. They are coming into the main tournament having won both of their warmup matches against England and Australia respectively.

Speaking at Salaam Cricket 2021, Gavaskar said Dhoni’s work as a mentor will definitely benefit Virat Kohli’s team in the showpiece event but said a lot will depend on how India players execute their plans in crunch situations.

Mentor won’t do much on the field. But in the change room, he is needed. T20 is such a fast-paced game that the right tactics can change the proceedings. When you have a time-out, you need to know what you have to tell your batters or fielders. To understand this, bringing MS Dhoni as a mentor is a very good move. It will definitely benefit the team,” Gavaskar said.

But he added: “But he will remain in the change room. But the work on the field needs to be done by the players. So learning how to handle that pressure and then respond to that pressure will influence the result.”

Dhoni was already seen helping out Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant with their keeping skills and was seen talking with Hardik Pandya about big-hitting and finishing matches. While captain Virat Kohli has lauded the appointment of Dhoni, opening batsman KL Rahul said he is looking forward to learning from the World Cup-winning former captain once again.

The legendary India batter also pointed out that the Indian team has not passed the knockouts stages of the ICC events and also said that India needs to get their playing XI correct.

From whatever I have seen, India has lacked in major knock-out games and that lacking has been in team selection. The selection of the final XI. If you are able to sort out that final XI problem, then you might not face the hiccup,” Gavaskar said.