Over the years, Robin Uthappa has worked with various teams. He played for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the first edition, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the next two seasons, and the now-defunct Pune Warriors for the next two seasons. The Kolkata Knight Riders selected him in 2014 and he was the Orange Cap Holder in that season, scoring 660 runs in 16 games at an average of 44. He was instrumental in Kolkata's second IPL title victory.
Between 2017 and 2019, however, Robin's average and strike rate both took a beating. He was released from the KKR camp as a result of this. He was roped in by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2020 but his batting position wasn't fixed. The 36-year-old batted at number 5 at times, number 4 at other times, and towards the end of the season, he was opening the innings. RR didn’t retain him because he couldn't find his rhythm.
Instead of going to auction, Uthappa was signed by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for an all-cash deal with Rajasthan Royals (RR), and the move has paid off handsomely for him. Everyone was surprised to learn that the transfer was orchestrated not by the 36-year-close old's friend and former CSK captain MS Dhoni but by Ambati Rayadu.
Uthappa detailed the entire scenario to Ravichandran Ashwin on his YouTube channel, from how he was approached by Rayudu to when the agreement was made. "Kerala had a Syed Mushtaq game against Andhra in Bombay. Amba [Rayudu] was leading the Andhra side. Rayudu asked, 'what's happening with you?’ He was like, 'Bro, I'll do one thing. I will give you Kasi Sir's [CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan] number. You call Kasi sir. We want a player like you in our team. Why don't you give him a call?'"
Uthappa then added that he knew the transfer was going to happen, so he called Kasi Viswanathan. When the CSK CEO asked what he could do for him, he stated plainly that RR was in talks to move him and that he wanted to play for CSK.
He revealed the final conversation between him and Vishwanathan, “From RR I got to know that the conversations had begun and we will see where it goes and then Kasi sir called me after two days. I was leaving Bombay. He said, 'Rob the deal is done. You're gonna be coming to us. MS said that he doesn't have anything to do with the decision. The support staff believes that you'll be a great value to our team'."
The right-hander then disclosed what Dhoni had said to him a few days later. Robin stated that Dhoni made sure he didn't have any say in the choice because he wanted Uthappa to be chosen based on his own merits and second, that people shouldn't think he was brought in because he is his friend.
He has been given the opener’s job in the Chennai team and he has been very effective. The Indian veteran has been in exquisite form, perfectly timing his shots and playing them all over the park.
CSK will next take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday (April 09) at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
(TIMES NOW INPUTS)