When Robin Uthappa was traded to Chennai Super Kings from Rajasthan Royals for a reported fee of INR 3 crores ahead of IPL 2021, many people thought CSK skipper MS Dhoni would have played a key role behind this move. Uthappa played quite a few matches for India under the leadership of captain cool and was a vital part of the side which lifted the inaugural edition of T20 World Cup in 2007.
Considering the fact that Mahi has always shown trust in experienced players whom he has played with in past, it was quite natural for fans to assume that Thala would have insisted the franchise to secure the services of Uthappa. However, the former Rajasthan Royals player has now revealed that Dhoni had nothing to do with CSK's decision to trade in the opening batsman.
You will not walk into the first XI: Dhoni to Uthappa
In a conversation with Gaurav Kapoor on the '22 Yarns' podcast, Uthappa told that MS Dhoni welcomed him when he joined the team before telling him, "I had nothing to do with you being picked in the side. I don't want anything to do with this because tomorrow I don't want credit or brickbats for me favoring you."
This is when Uthappa realized that he had been picked by CSK solely on his ability and performances in the previous season, and there was no role of MS behind the decision. The 35-year-old also went on to say that the second thing that the CSK skipper clearly told him on his face was that he will not walk into the first XI of the team immediately.
"He (Dhoni) said that we have had guys who have done well and we'll see how things go and when we are closer to the tournament, I'll know whether you are playing or not," Uthappa added.
The communication has been so open: Uthappa
The new CSK signing also praised the franchise for their functioning, which he believes to be the reason behind their success. "What I love about this set-up is the communication has been so open. And I think that is so important for the success of a team. To be able to directly communicate to players as to what your expectations are. I think the success of a team is based on the energy driven by players who aren't playing in the XI," said Uthappa.
With Faf du Plessis still recovering from groin strain, Uthappa could be in line to make his CSK debut on September 19 when the franchise lock horns with Mumbai Indians in Dubai.