Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa on Wednesday (6th April) talked about his relationship with MS Dhoni. He said when he joined Chennai Super Kings (CSK) it was difficult for him to call the wicketkeeper-batter ‘Mahi Bhai’.
Both Uthappa and Dhoni share great camaraderie between them. The duo has often been seen sharing light moments both on and off the field. They played 47 matches for India and then reunited when CSK bought the former in IPL 2020.
In an interaction with R Ashwin on his YouTube channel, Robin Uthappa said that it’s hard for him to call MS Dhoni ‘Mahi Bhai’ because they played 12 years before, and he called him Mahi or MS.
“Today, for me, it's very hard to call him Mahi bhai. Because when I got to know him he was Mahi, MS. I played with him after 12 years. After 2008, when I got dropped from the team, I am playing with him in the same team after like 12-13 year,” Robin Uthappa said.
Uthappa recalled when he joined CSK, he asked Dhoni should he call him Mahi Bhai, which everyone was calling him, to which the keeper-batter told him to call him MS.
“I said ‘What should I call you, dude? I don't know. Should I call you Mahi bhai because everyone around me is calling you Mahi bhai?’He was like ‘Hey, call me MS, or Mahi or however you want me to’. That's how simple he is. It's just an example of who he is as a human being,” he said.
Uthappa recalled his first meeting with Dhoni and talked about how the former Indian skipper shows his affection towards the players he loves.
“I first met MS Dhoni during my debut in Challenger Series in 2004. I was very close to Sridharan Sriram. I am genuinely very fond of him as a person. Sree Bhai was also there in the Challenger Trophy, he was also close to MS and that's when I met MS through Sree Bhai but that meeting was very brief.
“MS is an extremely witty guy. extremely funny fellow, and off the cuff. If he likes you, he will keep teasing you. And if you take offence to that, he will stop. Like he doesn't like offending anyone. But that's how he shows affection,” he said.
Uthappa opened up about how he and Dhoni connected with several things and how the wicketkeeper-batter was different in a ‘positive light’.
“We connected on bikes. I was learning about bikes at that time. Those were common interests. Food was a common interest, and so were cars. I was telling somebody, there was something different about MS even before he became captain.
“He was very different in a positive light. All of them were special in a slightly shinier way. But he was special in a very simple way. Always under the radar, and quiet but had a great sense of humour. It would come out when it would come out,” he said.
Uthappa further said that even before Dhoni became India captain, his opinion was asked and everyone listened to him.
“When he spoke, everyone listened. That was even before he became captain. When his opinion was asked, he would speak. He would speak only when he was spoken to and when he spoke, everyone listened,” he said.
Both Dhoni and Uthappa will be next seen in action in CSK’s match in IPL 2022 against SRH on Saturday (9th April). The Ravindra Jadeja-led side so far has lost all three matches and would be eager to earn two points.