Mentor in Chief

3 min readOct 26, 2021


Mentors were more well known in the field of academia or even in Start Ups. These are generally people who bring a lot of wisdom, experience and also guidance to teams, having been there and done that.

Eric Schmidt former CEO of Google mentions the resistance he put up when John Doerr recommended he work with a coach. “I remember saying, “I don’t really need a coach. I’ve been an experienced CEO for many years. I’m not a kid.” John pushed for it: “Tennis players have coaches, and maybe you need a coach, too.” The story & impact of Late Bill Campbell, the “Silicon Valley coach” is now legendary.

From Socrates to Buffet, the role of mentors cannot be impressed enough and now we can add our very own.

Early this year, BCCI announced that MS Dhoni would be an honorary mentor to Team India, one had to stand up and note. Off course there are questions as what he can contribute, we already have a full time coach, batting, bowling and fielding coaches in place. So what gives?

The legend of Dhoni is well known, some decisions are mind boggling and now part of Indian cricket folklore, from using Uthapa and Sehwag in a bowl out against Pakistan, or promoting Rohit Sharma to opener, to his famous negative line bowling in Australia.

The sight of Dhoni “ bolting “ to run out Mustafizur instead of throwing it or to promote himself over an inform Yuvi in the World Cup finals at a crucial juncture or even giving the ball to Joginder Sharma (J) with Harbhajan still having an over for the final over or his never to wrong DRS decisions or his taking the games to the last overs and keeping us in bated breath, there can never be another Dhoni.

That I am a fan is understated

Expressing his contentment at Dhoni’s position in the team, Kohli said, “He makes a difference when he is in a leadership role in any team. Absolutely delighted to have him in the environment. He will certainly boost the morale of this team further. Such practical inputs and such intricate details of where the game is going and where we can improve.”

Leading from the front but quick to stand last for team photos, retiring with a song and without much of a song or dance, or some behind the scenes leadership lessons from MSD is something one cannot put a value to, as by revealed by Pandya. “MS was someone who understood me from the start: how I function, what kind of a person I am, what are the things I don’t like, everything. When I was picked for the New Zealand series, initially there were no hotel rooms. But then I get a call, saying, “You just come. MS has told us, ‘I don’t sleep on the bed [in any case]. He will sleep on my bed and I will sleep on the floor “

Not sure how long this arrangement will last, and as another all-time great has been announced to take over the coaching in coming times, but if Pant & Co can imbibe even 10 % from MSD in this world cup, it will be equivalent to a life time of coaching masterclasses.

Originally published at