T20 World Cup 2021: Monty Panesar says Kohli brought in Dhoni as a mentor to finish his captaincy on a high

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni | GETTY

Former England cricketer Monty Panesar thinks India skipper Virat Kohli must have asked BCCI to rope in MS Dhoni as a mentor for the 2021 T20 World Cup. BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed Dhoni agreed to the role and he will not charge any fee for mentoring the Indian cricket team.

Kohli had earlier announced that he will be quitting India’s T20I captaincy after the tournament. Panesar said Kohli hasn’t won an ICC trophy as a captain and he would be looking to finish on a high.

“Bringing Dhoni on board as a mentor is Virat’s decision. He must have said…look this is my last World Cup as T20I captain, last time that I will be leading the side, I have played under Dhoni and learned from him. He wanted a nice memory. He wants to finish on a high, that’s why he brought in Dhoni as a mentor,” Panesar told Times of India.

Dhoni has featured in all the previous T20 World Cup tournaments for India, and he has experience of handling high-pressure situations. Panesar said Dhoni’s presence will give Kohli confidence in the tournament.

“He wanted Dhoni by his side while chasing his maiden ICC trophy. And also, Dhoni is not charging anything, which is so good to see. He is a legend of the game. Virat wants his presence and I am sure these two guys Dhoni and Virat together will do wonders for Team India in the World Cup,” he added.

Panesar further said that Dhoni has led India to multiple ICC tournament wins and he will be guiding Kohli from the dressing room. “Dhoni knows how to win tournaments. He will be a guiding force for Virat from the dressing room. Virat and Dhoni together have won many matches for India and they know each other very well. 

“In fact, Virat has huge respect for Dhoni. Dhoni knows how to win big games and Virat would want to pick those tactics and pick Dhoni’s brains. He would want to lead the way Dhoni did in World Cups and big tournaments. They both together will make plans and win the games,” he said.

The ex-England spinner is backing India to reach the finals of the 2021 T20 World Cup and Kohli won’t leave any opportunity to convert it to a title win.

“India are going to be strong favourites. They will be entering the tournament as title favourites. I reckon they will be making it to the final for sure. Virat is aiming for an ICC title win as captain. And he won’t leave this chance easily. This will be his last tournament as T20I captain and he is looking hungry for an ICC title,” he said.

India’s squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakaravarthy. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Shardul Thakur

Reserve players: Shreyas Iyer, Akshar Patel, Deepak Chahar