A thrilling inaugural match between the Chennai and the defending champion Gujarat will kick off the 2023 Indian T20 League on March 31 in Ahmedabad. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of Chennai, has already started preparing for the forthcoming season. The wicketkeeper-batter is anticipated to continue leading Chennai after assuming the position midway through the last. Before the 2022 edition of the competition, Dhoni had given Ravindra Jadeja the captaincy.
Dhoni has been among the league's most successful skippers, with four championships. Although the wicketkeeper-batter is renowned for his cool, collected demeanour on the field, former India star Robin Uthappa has stated that Dhoni is a "very open person" with his teammates and recounted a specific incident from his playing days for the Chennai franchise.
'He told me to my face, I still appreciate that a lot' – Robin Uthappa
Uthappa joined Chennai for the 2021 season of the competition, and the star batter was crucial to the team's triumph in that same year. Uthappa played for the franchise in the second part of the competition, taking the place of an underwhelming Suresh Raina in the XI, and helped the team win its fourth championship with significant contributions.
"MS is a very open person. He does not hesitate in speaking the truth, even if it hurts you. I remember when I was signed by Chennai 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," Uthappa said.
"In the first season, I saw everyone in the squad calling him Mahi bhai. I went up to him and asked if I should call him Mahi bhai too. He dismissed it, saying, call me what you want. It makes no difference. Please call me Mahi only," he further added.