'Dhoni hit the ball so hard that it broke the bowler's two fingers': IPL great on CSK legend's freakish strength
Uthappa narrated how Dhoni broke former India cricketer Sridharan Sriram's fingers during a training camp in Bengaluru in 2003-04.
Is MS Dhoni fit to play the IPL 2023 opener against Gujarat Titans on Friday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad? It's difficult to say with certainty but whatever the answer is, there is no denying the fact that fans across the globe are dying to watch the legendary cricketer return to the cricket field leading CSK. In what might be his last season in the IPL, Dhoni will play in front of his home ground at Chennai for the first time since 2019. Ahead of the 16th edition, Dhoni's friend and former India and CSK teammate Robin Uthappa recalled his first meeting with the talismanic cricketer. (IPL 2023 Opening Ceremony Live updates)
Uthappa, who announced his retirement from all forms of the game last year, narrated how Dhoni broke former India cricketer Sridharan Sriram's fingers during a training camp in Bengaluru.
"The first time I saw MS Dhoni was during an India A camp in 2003 at the NCA in Bengaluru. MS was batting in the middle of the Chinnaswamy Stadium against Munaf Patel, who at that point in time was quick with a slingy action. There were other fast bowlers like Aavishkar Salvi. And MS was hitting huge sixes. He brought out the helicopter shot. Some of the balls even landed outside the stadium.
"In fact, he actually injured Sridharan Sriram. He stepped out and smashed it straight to the bowler. Sriram stuck his hand out and it hit him. We thought he was running after the ball but he crossed the ball and kept running towards the dressing room. He immediately knew that he had broken his hand. I think he ended up with two broken fingers. We all got an idea of how hard MS hits the ball. Then I knew that he will play for India," Uthappa said on Jio Cinema.
Uthappa and Dhoni have played a lot of cricket together for India and then for CSK. Uthappa played two seasons for the yellow army before calling it quits. The right-handed wicketkeeper-batter revealed how he became close friends with Dhoni during the early part of his career.
"We became friends in 2004 but didn't play together that much. I was still a U19 cricketer and MS was playing India A. I used to meet him here and there like the Challenger Series. My first international tour was in Abu Dhabi. We became very good friends there. After that, we spent a lot of time together in the West Indies.
"We both were fond of clothes. We used to go shopping a lot. We used to eat together. We had a group. Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, Piyush Chawla, Munaf Patel, MS and me. We used to order daal makhani, butter chicken, jeera aloo, and roti every day. MS is very rigid in terms of food. He used to have butter chicken without chicken and was satisfied with only the gravy. If he had chicken then he used to skip roti. He hasn't changed one bit. He is still the same as when I met him for the first time. He's very uncomplicated and simple," he added.