Thursday, December, 02,2021

Return of the Titan

What a marvellous show! 21,964 runs, 716 innings, 332 innings captained and the only captain to win all three major ICC trophies. A feel for the game like no one else, a keeper so quick and precise you would think he was a descendant of Hermes and a batsman who could shoulder entire innings and carry his team across the threshold. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a Titan of Indian cricket.

He is more than just a household name in our country, the guy is looked up to and revered like a god. Naturally, when an icon like him announced his retirement, there was an air of disappointment and dismay throughout the country.

Virat Kohli came forward as the natural successor and while there was no problem with that decision, seeing such a figure hang his cleats and gloves hurt the fans. It was finally time to say goodbye to captain cool. 

Well, the BCCI had other plans in motion. The cricket board while announcing the team for the T20 world cup also mentioned that MS Dhoni will also be joining the team in the capacity of a mentor.

This news was obviously received with love from the fans, and they were excited to see Dhoni working closely with the team again. The BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said that the inclusion of such a legend will benefit the team.

“He (Dhoni) has been a great leader. Under his captaincy, India won the inaugural World Twenty20, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 World Cup, and the 2013 Champions Trophy.

The records are amazing. It is great to have him as a mentor of the team (for the ICC World Cup).

“He has a good reputation and respect in the team and bringing him doesn’t mean to undermine anybody. They have also done a phenomenal job,” Dhumal told India Ahead.

There are speculations that the ‘Wall’ Rahul Dravid will be joining as the new coach for the Indian Cricket team. Dravid has coached the India A team before and had a very successful stint with them.

Both Dravid and Dhoni could be the element India need to transform their performances into a trophy. The coaching changes by BCCI are a coin flip, and like any coin, this too has another side.

While there are so many who support Dhoni’s appointment there are many who are against it. The BCCI Apex Council received a complaint against the appointment of Dhoni as the mentor of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup, citing conflict of interest rules in the recommendations of the Lodha Committee.

People argue that the fact Dhoni is the captain of the IPL team Chennai Super Kings and the mentor for the World Cup team is a conflict of interest. Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar supports Dhoni’s new assignment but has some opinions to go with it. “If there are disagreements between Ravi and Dhoni over tactics and team selection, then that may have an effect on the team.

I am just praying there is no clash (between them). But if Ravi and Dhoni can get on the same wavelength, then it will immensely benefit India.” There is a very good example to support this claim too. In 2004, Gavaskar was appointed as a mentor for the team, but this confused and worried the then head coach John Wright.

“I was made consultant of the team in 2004, that is the current term for a mentor. John Wright was nervous, he probably thought I was going to take his place,” said the former captain.

Like any bold move made by the management, this one gets a similar treatment. There are people who are okay with it and then people who aren’t.

India won the inaugural 2007 world T20, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 world cup and the 2013 ICC champions trophy all under Dhoni. How many more trophies can MS Dhoni help us win? I guess only time will tell. 

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