Robin Uthappa recalls the moment when he first saw MS Dhoni bat; opens up on his personality

Robin Uthappa narrated an incident when Dhoni ended up injuring Sridharan Sriram.

Robin Uthappa and MS Dhoni | Twitter/BCI-IPL

Former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa recalled the time when he first saw MS Dhoni batting ferociously and opened up about his captaincy ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.

He also described one of the greatest captains in international cricket history as "the most uncomplicated person in the world" while recalling how Dhoni made him clear about his chances to play in the IPL when he was signed by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) last year.

Robin Uthappa told Jio Cinema during the special feature, ‘My Time With Dhoni ft. Uthappa’: “His simplicity is something that’s always been there and it’s something that hasn’t changed. He’s just as simple today as he was the first time, I met him. Dhoni is the most uncomplicated person in the world. MS is a very open person. He does not hesitate in speaking the truth, even if it hurts you.”

Read Also: IPL 2023: MS Dhoni's retirement will be very different, says Harbhajan Singh ahead of IPL 16

He continued, “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.”

Recalling his first-ever memory of Dhoni, Uthappa opened up about an incident when Dhoni ended up injuring Sridharan Sriram. He said, “The first time I saw MS was in 2003 at an India camp at NCA Bangalore. He was batting against Munaf Patel back when he used to bowl really fast with the sling action. Other fast bowlers were also bowling. MS was batting and hitting long sixes off them.”

He added, “He actually ended up injuring S Sriram. Sriram was bowling to him and Dhoni stepped out and hit the ball extremely hard. Sriram touched it with his hand and the ball went 10-20 yards back. We thought Sriram was running after the ball, but he ran past it and straight into the dressing room because he broke two fingers. We wanted to see how much power MS has and it was explosive. At that moment, I knew he was going to play for India. He’s a special batsman.”

Speaking about Dhoni’s weird eating habits, Uthappa recalled: “We used to always eat together. We had a group: Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, Piyush Chawla, Munaf (Patel), MS and me. We would order dal makhni, butter chicken, jeera aloo, gobi and rotis. But MS is a very rigid person when it comes to eating. He would eat butter chicken but without the chicken, only with the gravy! When he ate chicken, he wouldn’t eat the rotis. He is quite weird when it comes to eating.”

He signed off by saying on Dhoni’s captaincy, “He has sharp instincts and he backs his own instincts. That’s why he’s been such a successful captain. He takes responsibility for every outcome, whether it is a win or a loss. If he takes a bad decision because of his instincts, the man can’t sleep for a few days. He starts overthinking. If a good captain’s instincts are sound 4 or 5 out of 10 times, Dhoni’s instincts are sound 8 times or 9 times.”

(With The Indian Express Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 18 Mar, 2023

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