Does team India need a mentor over a captain and coach?

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Bipin Dani

Body copy: The Indian cricket board has roped in former captain MS Dhoni (MSD) as the team mentor specifically for the World Cup, which will be held in the UAE next month.

MSD, who retired from international cricket in last August, has been appointed to “provide support and direction,” to the Indian team management that is currently led by head coach Ravi Shastri.

The “cool” Dhoni obviously captures headlines as the helping hand for the most aggressive Team India captain, Virat Kohli.

While several fans wonder if the mentor tag is a mere distraction and yet another BCCI marketing gimmick, the Who’s Who of Indian cricket, past and present, think otherwise.

Those in favour India’s former chief selector MSK Prasad believes that India has an excellent team management who has handled the team during its thick and thin for the last few years. “And MSD’s addition will only enhance this team management’s strength.

Virat’s aggressiveness on the field and MSD’s cool and calm temperament will definitely help the cause for both Virat and Team India,” he adds.

Prasad also thinks Dhoni will be a wonderful addition to the T2 World Cup squad as a mentor of the side.

“His experience of winning three ICC Trophies as captain will definitely help the team and the team captain Virat Kohli in the upcoming mega event.

More importantly, there is no better player and captain than MSD in the history of T20 who can don the role of a mentor and enhance our chances of winning the T20 World Cup,” Prasad included.

Sports psychologist Anusheela Brahamchari points out how both MSD and Kohli have their own set of experiences.

“Provided the contrast in their personalities don’t collide, it is a potential opportunity for the team to build unbeatable strategies and optimum energy levels,” says Anusheela.

The psychologist also believes that the coach mentor and captain of a team are its pillars especially because success in sport always demands a fine combination of attacking, risk-taking behaviour and calm, strategic planning.

“A team’s coach, mentor and captain set the tone of the team spirit, interpersonal dynamics and the fine strategies.

Having Dhoni as the mentor and Kohli as the captain gives the team a potential chance of achieving that balance,” Anusheela adds.

More thoughts Another sports psychologist Varadayini Gorhe (Chitale) also echoed the above thoughts.

“Ricky Ponting mentoring the Australian team for the Ashes also helped the coaches gain a different perspective into the strategies.

Similarly, more than the personalities, I think two very experienced heads coming together may prove to be a good combo. I think MSD would carry the knowledge of winning two World cups.

That itself would be beneficial to the entire team, especially those who have never worked with him,” Varadayini points out.

Another person who believes that this new combination will be beneficial for Team India is India’s former left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha.

“Dhoni and Kohli share a good camaraderie.
Virat enjoys MSD’s company and has always complimented him as a guiding force. I think the experience and understanding they have will only benefit the team,” he shares.

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