After Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won the IPL title for the fourth time, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will now be in the role of Team India’s mentor off the field in the T20 World Cup and after proving his fun inside the field for the last 17 years. It will be interesting to see him in this outside role. In this it will be Dhoni’s job to share his experience and understanding but it will be up to captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri how they use it.
In Indian cricket, the term mentor has a broad meaning who can be a strategist or a consultant. He can be a mentor in Dhoni’s case as the Indian team is under a lot of pressure despite not winning major tournaments. Those who know Dhoni know that he will speak only when needed and will never interfere in the work of Shastri or Kohli. Most of the senior players of this team have been captains who made their debut under his captaincy and became superstars under his guidance.
What will Dhoni gain by joining the Indian team for a month? He will get a chance to assess whether he can save CSK’s retention fee for the next IPL by becoming a direct mentor. Dhoni has not spoken openly about his future in the IPL, but if he is able to help Kohli’s team, he could be with CSK in the IPL next season in the role of mentor without being present on the field. Dhoni does not believe in imposing his decisions. He believes that decisions are not taken under compulsion. As a consultant, his opinion on some issues will matter a lot. For example, KL Rahul will open the innings with Rohit Sharma or Ishan Kishan. Since the opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis have been very successful in CSK. Apart from this, opinion can also be taken from him about playing Hardik Pandya only as a batsman or playing Shardul Thakur as an all-rounder. Dhoni’s opinion on matters related to team composition and strategy will matter a lot.