Team India need Dhoni’s experience in World T20, says coach - GulfToday

Team India need Dhoni’s experience in World T20, says coach


Indian team still needs MS Dhoni in a World Cup as behind the wicket, he is an asset and in the middle he still binds the innings together, says Keshav Banerjee. File

MS Dhoni should be part of India’s T20 World Cup squad even if he does not play the Indian Premier League (IPL), due to the coronavirus outbreak, feels his childhood coach Keshav Banerjee.

The IPL, which had already been postponed to April 15, could be cancelled after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day countrywide lockdown beginning Wednesday to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

India head coach Ravi Shastri had told IANS last year that the IPL would decide the fate of Dhoni, who will turn 39 in July. The former India captain was practicing with his team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) but had to cut short his stay in Chennai after the IPL was pushed back.

“In a World Cup, you need experience. Rishabh Pant is still learning an KL Rahul as a keeper for a World Cup, I don’t think that’s the best idea when Dhoni is available for selection,” Banerjee told IANS from Ranchi.

“We all know what Dhoni brings to the table. The bowlers speak about it all the time. Sure, he was ready for the IPL and he hasn’t played since the World Cup but I have spoken to him and I have seen him practice in Chennai, he never looked like he was away for so long,” Banerjee said.

Asked what he gauged about Dhoni’s mindset during their recent conversations in Ranchi before the two-time World Cup winning skipper left for Chennai, Banerjee said: “As cool as ever. He doesn’t give much away but I did not see him worried or anything. He wore that smile I have always seen on his face, as affectionate as ever.”

Legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag have said that it is difficult for Dhoni to comeback into the fold.

“This Indian team still needs him in a World Cup. Behind the wicket, he is an asset and in the middle he still binds the innings together,” Banerjee added, backing his ward who led India to 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 50-over World Cup titles besides winning the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy as captain.

You just don’t know: Vaughan

Meanwhile, former England captain Michael Vaughan believes the coronavirus pandemic has created “unprecedented times” which can also hit the men’s T20 World Cup slated to be held later in the year in Australia.

The COVID-19 outbreak has claimed over 20,000 lives across the world so far and has brought the entire world to a standstill. It has affected all the major sporting events, including the Olympics which has now been postponed till next year. The cricketing world has also been badly affected as all the activities have been postponed or cancelled.

“The most important thing when we start talking about sport is that it’s really secondary to what’s happening to many people around the world,” Vaughan told Fox League Live on Thursday.

“You would hope it’s going to be okay by then but you just don’t know,” Vaughan said about T20 World Cup slated to be held in October and November.

“These are unprecedented times. The advice that we’re getting here is changing daily. Only two weeks ago we were all thinking it was just a real bad case of the flu, then a few days later reality started to sink in for many of us that it was a lot worse than that,” he added.

Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts had earlier said he is hoping that the T20 World Cup could be played as per schedule in normal circumstances.

“We’re really hoping that all forms of sport can be played again in a few weeks or a few months’ time,” Roberts was quoted as saying by

“None of us are experts in this situation obviously, so our hope is that we’re back in very much normal circumstances come October and November when the men’s T20 World Cup is to be played.”

Australia, who in February successfully hosted the Women’s T20 World Cup, will host the men’s event beginning with the pre-qualifiers from Oct.18-23 followed by the main 12-team competition from Oct.24.

Indo-Asian News Service

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