MS Dhoni to mentor India for T20 World Cup: BCCI
- Dhoni announced international retirement last year
- He led India to the T20 World Cup title in 2007
- The T20 World Cup 2021 is set to be played in Oman and UAE
Former India captain MS Dhoni will mentor the Indian team for the T20 World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Wednesday.
"Former India Captain MS Dhoni to mentor the team for the T20 World Cup - Honorary Secretary Jay Shah," wrote BCCI in a tweet.
Dhoni led India to the historic victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. India beat arch-rivals Pakistan in the final and ever since then, India have failed to add another T20 World Cup trophy to their decorated cabinet. In 2011, Dhoni also captained India to a memorable victory in the 50-over World Cup. It was the former skipper, who had led from the front in the final to help India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
This will be Dhoni's first association with Team India after he announced his international retirement in August 2020.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who last played a Twenty20 International (T20I) for India in 2017, returned to the squad and will form the spin department alongside Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel and Rahul Chahar.
Meanwhile, experienced opener Shikhar Dhawan failed to make the cut for the 15-man Indian squad for the T20 World Cup that is due to begin on Oct. 17. Along with him, other renowned players such as Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya also were ignored for the ICC event, which will be held in Oman and the UAE.
The Mumbai Indians (MI) pair Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan and 30-year-old spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who made their international debuts earlier this year, have been picked for the Indian team that will be led by Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma as his deputy.
The T20 World Cup, which was initially to be held in India, was later shifted to Oman and the UAE due to the prevailing COVID-19 cases in the country. The tournament will begin on Oct. 17, starting with the qualifying matches. The Super 12 stage will only go underway from Oct. 23 with the game between Australia and South Africa in Abu Dhabi.
The inclusion of Ashwin has come in as a surprise as the off-spinner last played a T20I for India was back in 2017 against West Indies in Kingston. The experienced spinner was a part of the Indian dressing room during the T20 World Cup in 2016, where he had managed to bag four wickets with 2 for 20 being his best figures in five games. India's campaign had ended following their semi-final loss to eventual champions West Indies. Ashwin has 52 wickets to his name in 46 T20Is for India.
Shreyas Iyer and fast bowlers Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur have been named in the standby list.
Dhawan, who has played 68 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for India so far, recently led Team India on the Sri Lanka tour in the absence of Kohli. Under Dhawan's captaincy, India ended up losing the three-match T20I series 2-1.
India squad for T20 World Cup 2021: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.