Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes the appointment of MS Dhoni as the mentor for the Indian team in the men’s T20 World Cup is attributed to his experience and mindset of handling pressure in crunch games. He also said that young players in the team will benefit from his experiences as captain and handling pressure situations.
On Wednesday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah made the announcement of Dhoni’s appointment as India’s mentor for the T20 World Cup in the UAE in a virtual press conference.
“A good story to have, but I’m sure his (MS Dhoni) role will be defined, because you’ve got the head coach, the assistant coach and the bowling coach. So, I’m sure there has to be something from Virat Kohli or Ravi Shastri on what they would want apart from what they already have because India has been very successful in T20 Cricket. It’s not like India has struggled in T20 Cricket,” said Gambhir in a special T20 World Cup squad episode on Follow the Blues show on Star Sports on Thursday.
“Had India struggled in T20 cricket, they might have had to get someone from outside, but Dhoni’s experience and his mindset of handling pressure in those crunched games could be one reason why they’ve got him as a mentor – not purely from the skill point of view, because these guys have got all the skill, to go out there and deliver,” observed Gambhir.
The 39-year-old MP from East Delhi felt that the ability to handle pressure from Dhoni is something which will be advantageous for the youngsters in the team to learn. “It’s probably, how to handle pressure during those important games because India had missed out on those important games — especially the Knockout games. So probably MS Dhoni’s experience of captaining this side and handling that pressure in those important games could be a huge advantage for young players. And you have to remember that most of these guys are young, for example, your Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy or any of these batters play — they’ve not been to any of the world cups.”
Gambhir concluded by saying that Dhoni’s mentorship will be more towards the experience side. “So, I’m sure MS will share his experience. That probably is the only thing I can think of; apart from that, I don’t see that MS Dhoni change anything from a skill point of view. Ravi Shastri’s been there, Vikram Rathour has been there, and the entire support staff is there. So, probably MS can only add his experience to the players while probably going into the crunch games.”
India named a 15-member squad for the men’s T20 World Cup on Wednesday to be led by Virat Kohli. There were surprise inclusions in Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel while Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal missed out. India begin their journey in the men’s T20 World Cup against Group 2 rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.
PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26
Raider Sachin scored 10 points as three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 38-26 in Match 17 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, on Tuesday. Sachin scored a Super 10 (10 points) and was ably supported by Patna’s defensive trio of Sunil (4 points), Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (3 points), and Sajin C (3 points). The lack of a quality raider despite promising performances from youngsters will be a cause of concern for the Puneri Paltan who succumbed to their second loss in three matches.
All eyes were once again on Pune’s Rahul Chaudhari but the showman, despite starting the match, was substituted for young Mohit Goyat by coach Anup Kumar in the first half. The trio of raiders including Aslam Inamdar and Pankaj Mohite caused problems for the Patna defence while at the other end Prashant Kumar Rai and Sachin were equally effective.
Patna were facing the risk of an all-out with six minutes left to half-time, but their defender Sajin C completed a Super Tackle to turn the momentum. The three-time champions got lucky later when Monu Goyat entered the lobby without contact, in a do-or-die raid only to be followed by three Pune defenders who had been deceived by his actions. The first half ended 14-14 with Pune having just two men on the mat.
Pune coach Anup Kumar clearly expected from his set of raiders and brought in Shubham Shelke for Pankaj Mohite in the second half. But Patna kept fighting back, thanks to the largely confident tackles from the likes of Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Sajin. With 10 minutes remaining, Patna had a four-point lead and that was extended a’ Pune’s plan to play on the Do-or-Die raid backfired. Sachin scored two points in the crucial raid for Patna to inspire another ALL OUT in the 13th minute and open a 10-point lead.
Patna maintained the momentum and though Sunil and Vishal Bharadwaj picked up yellow cards in the final minutes as the match became intense the three-time champions ensured there was no late comeback by Pune and clinched an important win.
PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants
Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Giants 31-28 on Day 3 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday. This was Bengal Warriors’ second win in as many matches while Gujarat Gaints have one win and one loss. The Warriors have 10 points the same as Dabang Delhi but are placed second on a lower points-difference while Gujarat have six points.
Bengal Warriors started well and established a slender lead (16-11) against Gujarat Giants at half-time. They maintained their advantage despite the valiant efforts of the Gujarat Giants, managed to register a narrow victory.
Maninder Singh was the top scorer for Bengal Warriors with eight points while Esmaeil Nabibakhsh contributed four points.
Bengal Warriors won 18 raid points as against 19 by Gujarat Giants. But it was in defence that they scored, claiming 10 points as against eight by their rivals. They bagged two all-outs as against none by the Giants.
Rakesh Narwal was the top scorer for Gujarat Giants with 12 points while Rakesh Sungroya contributed four points.
Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday announced that Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the state.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said that Pant will encourage the youngsters to take up sports.
“One of the best cricket players of India, the idol of youth and son of Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has been appointed as “State Brand Ambassador” by our government with the aim of encouraging the youth of the state towards sports and public health,” tweeted Dhami in Hindi, along with the video.
In the video, CM Dhami can be seen interacting with Rishabh and asking about his well-being.
The attacking batter also thanked the Chief Minister for the opportunity, saying that he will try his best to motivate people towards fitness.
“Thank you @pushkardhami sir for giving me the opportunity to be the Brand Ambassador of promoting Sports and General Health among the people of Uttarakhand. I’ll do my best to spread this message and feeling happy that you are taking these steps towards a fitter India,” tweeted Pant.
“Coming from a small town of Roorkee, I am confident that the people here have the ability to make the country proud in various fields of life,” he added.
The 24-year Pant, who was rested for the New Zealand Tests, is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Indian Team is all set to face Proteas in the three-match Test series, starting December 26.
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