'I had 13 successful years in IPL. Still, he said that to my face': Ex-CSK star's brutal chat with Dhoni before IPL 2021
The former Chennai Super Kings player spoke in detail about his interaction with Dhoni before the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League.
The 2023 Indian Premier League begins on March 31 with a blockbuster opening clash, as defending champions Gujarat Titans take on the Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad. A host of CSK stars have already begun preparations for the upcoming season in Chennai including captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni; the wicketkeeper-batter is expected to lead the Super Kings for another season after he had made a return to leadership role mid-way through the previous season. Dhoni had handed over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the 2022 edition of the tournament.
Dhoni has been one of the most successful captains in the history of the league, winning four titles so far. The wicketkeeper-batter is known for his calm and composed presence on the field, but former India star Robin Uthappa has revealed that Dhoni is a “very open person” with his teammates, and recalled a moment from his playing days for CSK.
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CSK had roped Uthappa in during the 2021 season of the tournament and the star batter played a key role in the side's victory in the same season. Uthappa appeared for the CSK during the second half of the tournament as he replaced an underperforming Suresh Raina in the XI, and made key contributions for the side en route their fourth title win.
“MS is a very open person. He does not hesitate in speaking the truth, even if it hurts you. I remember when I was signed by CSK in the auction, he called me and said, ‘I am not sure if you’ll get a chance to play because the season is still far away and I haven’t given it any thought. If you do end up playing, I will let you know.’ By now, I had enjoyed 13 successful years in the IPL. Still, he told me to my face what he had to do. I still appreciate that a lot,” Uthappa told JioCinema.
“In the first season, I saw everyone in the squad calling him Mahi bhai. I went up to him and asked if I should call him Mahi bhai too. He dismissed it saying, call me what you want, it makes no difference. Please call me Mahi only,” he further added.