Gujarat Titans (GT) have been a dominant force in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season. The defending champions won 10 out of their 14 league matches to finish at the top of the points table.
The Titans are due to take on four-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2023 at Chepauk on Tuesday (May 23).
Ahead of the all-important game, GT skipper Hardik Pandya expressed his admiration towards his CSK counterpart MS Dhoni, saying that one needs to be a "proper devil" to hate the latter.
"I'll always be a Mahendra Singh Dhoni fan and for so many fans out there and so many cricket lovers. You need to be a proper devil to hate Mahendra Singh Dhoni," said Pandya in a video posted by Gujarat Titans on Twitter.
Under Dhoni’s captaincy, CSK have won the IPL title four times. While the Super Kings endured a rare dismal campaign last year, they bounced back this season and ended the league stage with 17 points from 14 games.
Hardik Pandya admitted that he has learnt a lot from Dhoni, not by picking his brains but simply by watching him in action.
"A lot of people think Mahi is serious and all that. For me, I crack jokes and I don't see him as a Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"Obviously, I've learnt a lot of things from him, a lot of positive things, which I've learnt from him just while watching, not even much talking," the all-rounder said.
For Hardik, Dhoni is like a brother who he could chill around with. "For me, he's just my dear friend, dear brother, who I do pranks, who I chill."