Farokh Engineer, the former India wicketkeeper-batsman, feels MS Dhoni’s inclusion in India’s support staff could prove to be a boon for captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri.
Last week, Dhoni, India’s World Cup-winning captain, was roped in by the BCCI as the team mentor specifically for the T20 World Cup 2021. The move has been welcomed by Shastri, who feels Dhoni’s presence will be a “huge shot in the arm for the boys”. Not only has Engineer echoed Shastri’s thoughts, but the 83-year-old predicts an unbeaten run for India in the tournament.
“Nice to have Dhoni alongside the team because of his experience and coolness and all that will certainly be a great inspiration for the team. I am delighted BCCI have taken that decision,” said Engineer in an interview to Sports Tak.
“Mentor’s role, Dhoni, I think he is not the type to interfere with anybody. He is a cool customer. If he sees something is wrong or could be done better, I am sure he will suggest in a very clever way to Ravi or Virat. In all, I think we got a very good squad, a very good mentor, manager, and captain. So, I can’t see any team beating India in the T20 World Cup. I think India should win.”
Engineer, who represented India in 46 Tests and five ODIs, said that former players serving as mentors is a “lovely thing”.
“IPL has mentors. Every team has. What does a mentor do? It is an honorary thing, a thing of respect. Sachin Tendulkar is a mentor for Mumbai Indians. It’s a lovely thing to have figureheads like Sachin and Dhoni around,” said Engineer.
“In our time, once you give up the game, people used to forget us. But if you played the game well or were an attractive cricketer, fans will always remember and talk of you. But the officials will easily forget you. I am glad that the present officials have rectified that. Sourav Ganguly, Jay Shah, and others have done a fantastic thing by bringing in ex-players like Dhoni. I am very, very happy with that. I hope it continues.”
India, the inaugural World T20 champions, begin their campaign in this year’s tournament against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. Both India and Pakistan are placed in Group 2 alongside New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifying teams yet to be finalized.