Virat Kohli has opened up on what part legendary wicket keeper MS Dhoni will play ahead of this month’s T20 World Cup in the Middle East, as India seek their second triumph in the short format event.
India captain Virat Kohli has lifted the lid on what role former wicket keeper, and national hero, MS Dhoni will play at this year’s T20 World Cup, revealing that the 40-year-old will be a ‘team mentor’ in the Middle East.
Dhoni – who made 347 T20 appearances for India – retired from international cricket in August 2020, after a quite magnificent career that saw him establish himself as one of India’s (and the world’s) greatest wicket keepers.
Despite this the cricketing great will still be playing a part for the Indian team at this month’s T20 World Cup, as Kohli revealed in the build-up to the tournament that he would be his squad’s mentor.
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The Indian has a remarkable record in the competition, having captained his nation at every single edition of the event, that included leading India to victory in the tournament’s inaugural year in 2007.
Kohli’s team will face England and Australia this week in two pre-tournament warm up matches, before facing off with Pakistan in their World Cup opener on Sunday.
Ahead of their busy week, the Indian skipper revealed all regarding Dhoni’s new role.
Kohli said: “MS is excited to be back, although he’s always been a mentor for all of us.
“He has an opportunity to do it again and work with the younger guys who are playing in a major tournament in the early stages of their careers.”
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The captain went on to add that he is hoping to use Dhoni’s experiences from the competition to help them deliver a second T20 World Cup title.
He added: ‘We want to use the experience he’s gained over the years and have conversations with him around the game.
“Tactical inputs, intricate details of where the game is going and how we can improve by small margins.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have him back and his presence will certainly boost the morale of the team even further and give us even more confidence than we have as a team.”
Kohli was also questioned on the potential of former teammate Rahul Dravid replacing outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri, however he refused to speculate.
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The Indian star said: “I honestly have no idea about what’s exactly happening on that front yet.
“Winning the World Cup is definitely our goal like any other team. But I think what we’ve been able to create in the last five, six years is beyond titles and tournaments, to be honest.
“We’ve been able to create a culture which I think is going to be lasting a long time, where people want to be the best they can be, the fittest they can be.
“But winning an ICC tournament will definitely be a wonderful moment for all of us, something that we’re absolutely motivated to do and we’ll give everything we have.”