Former India opener Virender Sehwag believes Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s team leader for the T20 World Cup will aid Jasprit Bumrah and Co. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was always a bowlers’ skipper in white-ball cricket.
The BCCI recently designated Dhoni as a mentor for the mega event.
“I am pleased that MS accepted the opportunity to be the T20 World Cup Team Mentor. In an exclusive interview with PTI, Sehwag said, “I know many people want MS to return to the forefront of Indian cricket, and having him as the mentor is the best thing that could have occurred.”
Sehwag, who has played with Dhoni for a decade, recognized Dhoni’s primary skill as a captain, which is understanding the mindset of his bowlers in the limited-overs game.
“MS was great as a keeper with his grasp of field placements, which will benefit the bowling unit in this World Cup. “Bowlers can pick his brain for important suggestions on planning against a batsman,” remarked the former explosive opener.
When it comes to young players who are a little introverted and require someone to help them as they try to express themselves on the field, Sehwag believes there is no more excellent ‘mentor’ than Dhoni.
“In any international team, there are always bashful players and are hesitant to approach their captain and begin up a cricketing chat. MS has always been the kind of person who is easy to talk to and who is also a great troubleshooter for kids.”
While the BCCI has named a 15-man squad with three reserves, Sehwag believes that with the ICC allowing players to switch sides till October 10, there may still be room for some good players who missed the bus.
“It’s 100 percent. We have a minimum of seven matches left for the teams. That means individuals on the outskirts can still impress Indian selectors who will be observing the event. “Since the ICC allows a window to change teams, I will not be surprised if there are some changes in the original squad,” the Nawab of Najafgarh remarked.
When asked about Virat Kohli, Sehwag claimed that because he has such a large fan base, Kohli owes at most minuscule one IPL trophy to Bangalore.
“The IPL is crucial for every captain, but I believe it is even more so for Virat Kohli, who has such a large fan following that everyone wants him to win a trophy for the Bangalore team. At least once during his stint as captain, if not many times,” the 42-year-old claimed.
“Due to the pandemic, this has been a strange year off the field, and who knows, it might be a different year for Bangalore than prior seasons, and they go on to win the trophy,” Sehwag remarked.
Sehwag believes Mumbai and Delhi are favorites to win the IPL, just as he did in the previous edition in the UAE.
“Now that the second half has been moved to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I believe Delhi and Mumbai will be favorites again, with the five-time champions slightly ahead,” he said.
According to Sehwag, pitches in the UAE would be slower, causing challenges for Chennai and Bengaluru.
“Chennai’s average score in India was 201, but I believe they would lack batting potency on UAE wickets. If I had to choose only one team, it would be Mumbai.”
After such a long break, he believes it will take Chennai “a few more matches” to settle down and get back into the “rhythm.”
Sehwag chose four batters when asked which players he was most excited to see over the next four weeks.
“Ishan Kishan will be my first choice, followed by Devdutt Padikkal, KL Rahul, and Sanju Samson. I’ll be keeping a close eye on these four. Devdutt’s batting has always impressed me, and if I had to choose one of the four, he would be my choice. Who knows, if he performs well, he might be picked as India’s top-order batsman for the T20 World Cup,’ he continued.