Uthappa expresses concerns about Dhoni’s physical condition, despite sharp mental game

PTI, Apr 20, 2024, 12:03 PM IST

Amazed at Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s longevity, former India batter Robin Uthappa says the Chennai Super Kings talisman’s ”mind is staying up to date” and the only thing that could end his prolonged run in competitive cricket is his body.

Dhoni has showed tremendous form this IPL season, powering CSK with his blistering cameos, the latest coming in the match against Lucknow Super Giants in which he slammed a nine-ball 28 here on Friday.

Speaking on JioCinema, Uthappa said, ”The only thing stopping him is his health. His fitness will be the only thing that stops him from playing any further. He loves the game, is deeply passionate about it, and wants to continue playing it. ”If there’s anything that will stop him, it will be his own body that will give way. The mind is staying up to date.” Dhoni slammed a four and a six off Mohsin Khan before smashing Yash Thakur for another maximum. He finished the innings with two more fours as 19 came off the last over.

Speaking of Dhoni’s exploits, former India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan said, ”The roar is getting bigger, better, and louder, and so is MS Dhoni’s presence on the field. ”He’s getting better and better with every innings he is playing. The sheer impact of him, it’s unbelievable to see him go out there and put this kind of pressure on the bowlers. It was just phenomenal.” Asked to bat first, Ravindra Jadeja came up with a solid unbeaten 57 before Moeen Ali (30 off 20) and Dhoni (28 off 9) went on a six-hitting spree to take CSK to a fighting 176 for six.

In reply, KL Rahul (82) and Quinton de Kock (54) batted with authority during their match-winning alliance of 134, the highest partnership for any wicket at the Ekana Stadium, as LSG scored 180 for 2 in 19 overs to recover from back-to-back defeats and consolidate their position in the table.

Uthappa also praised Rahul’s innings, saying the knock has boosted his prospects of getting picked in the T20 World Cup squad.

”Absolutely delightful. What I love about this innings is that he played to the merit of the ball. He didn’t try to do too much, didn’t try to manufacture shots, and just played to the merit of the field… He led from the front. ”Over the last couple of weeks, I thought he wouldn’t figure in the World Cup squad. But if he continues batting the way he is right now, he’ll find himself a spot,” Uthappa said. ”Whether it’s as a reserve opener or a wicket-keeper, I think you might see him back among the frontrunners of the squad.”

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