India won three major white-ball tournaments when Dhoni was captain- The ICC World T-20 in 2007, The World Cup in 2011, and the 2013 Champions trophy, India’s last big title.
The former captain is set to be back in the Team India dugout, this time as a mentor for the T20 World Cup. The BCCI’s announcement to include Dhoni, took some of its own office-bearers by surprise. Even the selectors were informed a few minutes before the announcement of the final squad, for the October-November tournament in the UAE.
India’s poor record in ICC tournaments under Captain Virat Kohli and Coach Ravi Shastri is one of the key reasons behind this decision.
Why go back to Dhoni?
Dhoni, as the cliche goes, has been there and done that. India won its last big title under his captaincy. He is still an active cricketer in the Indian Premier League and has led his team to the victory thrice, whereas, Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, has no titles to show for itself.
His calm nature and quick reading of the game situations can prove to be an asset especially in a format that requires thinking on one’s feet. The nature of wickets and the kind of bowlers Indian batsmen are set to face, is another reason to rope in Dhoni as a mentor. There is already a sense of familiarity amongst the Squad and Dhoni as he has mentored most of the young talent that has made it to the list.
Why is this a good decision?
With Ravi Shastri and his squad retiring after the T20 World Cup and the BCCI not keen on renewing their records, Dhoni’s appointment works perfectly as a stop-gap.
Putting a new coach in, before the old coach’s retirement was far from ideal, so trusting someone from the old management and adding them to the squad was a masterstroke on behalf of the BCCI. Dhoni’s reputation in the game and his chemistry with Kohli and Shastri have gone a long way in securing his return.