T20 World Cup India: Gautam Gambhir declares, ‘Don’t know what role he will play, MS Dhoni could help Kohli & Co handle pressure’

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir is surprised with MS Dhoni as a mentor for Virat Kohli-led Team India for the T20 World Cup in UAE. The BCCI roped in Dhoni at the last moment to help the team. But Gambhir is surprised in what capacity is the former India captain going to help as the team has done well in T20Is.

“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,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ show.

A top BCCI official told InsideSport that even the BCCI top-brass had no idea if MS Dhoni would come on board but secretary Jay Shah made that happen.

“No, we did not have an idea about this. Dhoni’s inclusion came in as a pleasant surprise. I spoke to Secretary later & congratulated him on the move. Dhoni’s presence in the dressing room can work wonders for this team. All credit to Jay Shah for making it work,” said the official.

 Gautam Gambhir said that the role could be one of helping the team handle pressure. As Virat Kohli & Co lost the 2017 Champions Trophy final, World Cup semifinal and WTC Final apart from 2016 T20 World Cup semifinal, BCCI believes that the team’s failure to cross the last hurdle could be down to failure to handle pressure. MS Dhoni having led India to T20 World Cup and 50-over World Cup victory could be an asset to the team.

Further talking about MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir said: “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.”

“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,” Gautam Gambhir said.

“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.