India face England in warm-up match on Monday ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.50pm; watch the tournament live and in full on Sky Sports between October 17 and November 14
Sunday 17 October 2021 10:34, UK
India captain Virat Kohli believes the presence of predecessor MS Dhoni as a team mentor can give his side the edge in their bid to win the T20 World Cup.
Dhoni, who captained India to victory at the inaugural World T20 tournament in 2007, has led them in every edition to date, including their defeat to Sri Lanka in the final seven years ago.
Now the 40-year-old - who remained evasive on his future as a player after overseeing Chennai Super Kings' IPL triumph on Friday - will link up with India's squad in a mentoring role.
"MS is excited to be back, although he's always been a mentor for all of us," said Kohli.
"He has an opportunity to do it again and work with the younger guys who are playing in a major tournament in the early stages of their careers.
"We want to use the experience he's gained over the years and have conversations with him around the game. Tactical inputs, intricate details of where the game is going and how we can improve by small margins.
"We're absolutely delighted to have him back. His presence will certainly boost the morale of the team even further and give us even more confidence than we have as a team."
Kohli's side are rated as the bookies' favourites to win the trophy ahead of England, who they face in a warm-up game in Dubai on Monday.
India also take on Australia in a practice match before launching their campaign with an enticing clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday October 24, live on Sky Sports Cricket.
Kohli refused to be drawn on reports that former India batsman Rahul Dravid will replace outgoing coach Ravi Shastri after the tournament, saying: "I honestly have no idea about what's exactly happening on that front yet.
"Winning the World Cup is definitely our goal like any other team. But I think what we've been able to create in the last five, six years is beyond titles and tournaments, to be honest.
"We've been able to create a culture which I think is going to be lasting a long time, where people want to be the best they can be, the fittest they can be.
"But winning an ICC tournament will definitely be a wonderful moment for all of us, something that we're absolutely motivated to do and we'll give everything we have."
Watch the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup live in full on Sky Sports between October 17 and November 14.