Suresh Raina said that the induction of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a mentor in the Indian team is a “masterstroke” by the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and would help Kohli win an ICC trophy.
Along with the announcement of the T20 World Cup squad, BCCI made a surprising announcement by including MS Dhoni as the mentor of team India. The upcoming T20 World Cup will be a crucial tournament for team India as this will be the last T20I for Virat Kohli as skipper.
On Thursday(16-09-2021) Virat Kohli announces that he will step down from T20I captain after the T20 World Cup. Thus fans will expect team India to lift the T20 cup for their retiring captain.
One of his CSK teammate Suresh Raina opens his view on the BCCI’s decision of including MS Dhoni as a mentor for the India team. Notably, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina announced their retirement on the same date(August 15, 2020).
Here are the excerpts from the interview
Question: Dhoni will mentor the Indian team in the upcoming T20I World Cup in the UAE. What’s your opinion on this and how it will benefit the team?
Suresh Raina: It is a masterstroke by the BCCI! Dhoni, who has three ICC trophies, will surely help Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma and his experience will guide the youngsters. I believe Dhoni knows how to win an ICC trophy and it will benefit Virat and the Indian team. The team has five spinners — Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Axar Patel and Varun Chakravarthy — and Dhoni knows how to keep slow bowlers motivated. I believe Dhoni will also keep the team’s morale high if the players face a tough situation.
Question: You have retired from international cricket now. What are your future plans?
Suresh Raina: See, I am in a good shape and I still feel fresh to continue for some more time. Currently, I am leading Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket and talks are underway with Rajiv Shukla, the former secretary of the UP Cricket Association (UPCA). Besides, a lot depends upon the COVID-19 pandemic. I and Kuldeep (Yadav) will definitely play but Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) will be with the Indian team for the T20I World Cup. Meanwhile, I am also focusing on the IPL.
Question: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IPL 2021 was postponed and will now be played in the UAE. However, several international players have refused to take part in the second phase of the IPL. How Chennai Super Kings is planning to deal with this situation?
Suresh Raina: To be honest, we are not much worried. Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur will join the team in two to three days. Lungi Ngidi and Josh Hazlewood will also join us. Jadeja and Shardul are in good touch and will help us. Besides them, we have Dhoni Bhai and Ambati Rayudu and it will benefit the team. We feel we can win this tournament.