The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup is only getting bigger and better. As if the star players of each of the participating teams are not enough, some of the teams have bigger names from the past assisting them.
To name just a few, Mahela Jayawardene has been named Sri Lanka’s consultant for this tournament, Aussie Matthew Hayden completed his IPL commentary stint and the next day joined Pakistan team’s coaching staff. Fresh from coaching Chennai Super Kings to their fourth IPL title, New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming joined the Black Caps to share his expertise for a few days prior to their first second-round match next week (the first round involves the eight teams from which four qualifiers will join the top eight in the second round).
And, India have their own Mahendra Singh Dhoni as mentor for this tournament in a one-off assignment. Dhoni has, no doubt, got the knack of winning titles and guiding his team to greater heights. He did it in his first major assignment as Team India captain by winning the inaugural T20 World Cup title in 2007 in South Africa.
Former India pacer, Lakshmipathy Balaji, who has known Dhoni closely for nearly two decades, having played with him and under him in India colours and CSK colours, and at the CSK set up as the bowling coach for quite a few years now, said that former india captain is famous for not crossing the lines.
“Dhoni was also a part of this same set up until two years ago. They have been part of the group. So, it is not new for Dhoni. Knowing Dhoni very well, he is not someone who will cross the limits,” said the 40-year-old Balaji.
The former right-arm pacer who played in eight Tests, 30 ODIs and five T20Is including four in the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka under Dhoni’s captaincy, said: “It is a totally different ball game when it comes to MS as on-the-field contributor and off-the-field contributor. He has proved himself over the years because of his easy approach to the game and also the fact that anybody can go to him and talk about the game. Of course, the aura of MS Dhoni is going to be there. But, what he has maintained over the years with different age groups of cricketers is the ability to connect.