Players, not mentor, must deliver: Sunil Gavaskar
A mentor can only help as much because it is the players who will have to go out there and perform the “actual task”, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar said on the appointment of Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the post for the T20 World Cup.
India will play Pakistan on Sunday in the Super 12 and Gavaskar feels that in this format, Virat Kohli’s team can’t be termed clear favourites.
“Mentor can’t do much,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak. “Yes, he can help you prepare in the change room as it’s a fast-paced game and if needed, help you tweak the tactics.
“Maybe speak to batters and bowlers during time-out, so the move to employ Dhoni is a good one but Dhoni will be in the change room and it’s the players who have to perform the actual task in the middle. How they handle pressure would determine what the result will be,” Gavaskar said.
The former skipper feels Kohli will feel lesser pressure now that he has decided to quit captaincy in the T20 format.
“When you become a captain, you can’t just think about yourself, he has to speak to a batter who is going through a bad patch or discuss strategies with a bowler.
“Amid all this, one tends to neglect his own form. When you don’t have that pressure, you can focus on your own game. I think it will be good for Virat that after the T20 World Cup, he doesn’t have to think about responsibilities. So he can focus on his own game and score as many runs as possible,” he added.
Gavaskar also pointed out that India’s failure to win knock-out games in global tournaments has been primarily owing to faulty team selection.
“India’s problem in big matches has been the team combination. If they would have got the final XI selection right in knock-out games, they would have had less problems. At times, your thought process is different,” he said.
“In knock-outs and finals, you should bat first, put runs on the board, whatever you put, even if it’s 140, the other team has to score and it’s not always easy to score at seven runs per over in international cricket,” he explained.