Chetan Sharma, the BCCI chairman of selectors, and his colleagues have named a formidable 15-man Indian squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup in 2021. The side has a lot of unexpected inclusions and exclusions. The nomination of MS Dhoni as a mentor for the flagship event, though, was a major surprise. Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian opener, sought to decipher why Dhoni was chosen for the job.

“Dhoni’s expertise or, more likely, his approach of dealing with pressure in those crucial games is the reason they chose him as a mentor. Not just in terms of skill, but these guys have everything they need to go out there and deliver. It’s just a matter of knowing how to handle pressure in those crucial games. Because India was unable to participate in such crucial games, particularly the knockout games. So, Dhoni’s captaincy experience or his ability to handle the pressure in those crucial games might be a great benefit to these young players.”

Under MS Dhoni, Team India last won an ICC event in 2013, and they have since lost the 2014 T20 World Cup, 2015 World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup, 2017 Champions Trophy, and most recently the World Test Championship in 2021.

Dhoni, who announced his retirement in August 2020, is slated to play for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League 2021 UAE leg, and he will remain in the UAE to oversee Team India’s preparations for the ICC event.