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EXCLUSIVE: Suresh Raina calls BCCI's decision to appoint MS Dhoni as Team India mentor 'masterstroke', opens up about his future plans

Jagran English logo Jagran English 17-09-2021 Jagran English
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New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The T20I World Cup, which was scheduled to be played in India, will now be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October and many cricket pundits and former players, including Suresh Raina, feel that it would be a great chance for Virat Kohli and his team to win an ICC trophy. In an exclusive interview with Dainik Jagran's Abhishek Tripathi, 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.

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 Chakraborty -- 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.

Watch the full interview here:

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