MS Dhoni used to speak only when required; when he said something, you would listen and shut up: Robin Uthappa

"Dhoni always been like that. In group discussions, he used to talk quite a lot," revealed Uthappa.

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MS Dhoni
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MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a rapid-fire segment on JioCinema’s daily show ‘#AakashVani’, hosted by Aakash Chopra, former India cricketer Robin Uthappa took a trip down memory lane and reminisced about his time with the 2007 World Cup squad and makes a prediction on who from the class of 2007 could become a good commentator and coach soon.

Who was the gym freak of the 2007 T20 World Cup team?

We all were. But Irfan (Pathan) used to do it the most. He lifted way too much and was very committed. 

Was there any social media in 2007?

There was none. WhatsApp had just started to gain popularity. Do you know what was going on then? BlackBerry Messenger. Everyone was single and everyone was stuck to it!

Who was the 'Always Cool' dude?

Mahi (MS Dhoni). He used to speak when required. When he said something, you would listen and shut up. Even in 2007. He's always been like that. In group discussions, he used to talk quite a lot.

Who was your 'Bro'?

We had a whole group. It was me, RP (Singh), Piyush (Chawla), Irfan, and Mahi. We used to sit together and eat every day. We had a standard order. Dal makhani, grilled or tandoori or butter chicken, jeera aaloo, and roti. We used to get this daily in Durban. Work hard, and eat well, but in moderation. We used to munch on Nandos as well. 

Who was the funny guy in the team?

Mr. Funny Bones would be Bhajju Pa (Harbhajan Singh), Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh), and Irfan to a certain extent. Sreesanth also but we would laugh at him. For me, Sree was one of those genius personalities that could do everything. His mind runs too fast for his body and mouth, it's like too many things happening. He's too entertaining. 

Who was the biggest chatterbox on the field?

Viru (Virender Sehwag) bhai used to give a lot of suggestions. There weren't many seniors, I think the most senior were Viru bhai and Ajit (Agarkar) bhai. It was calm and collected, and we would play as a unit. Suggestions would come from everyone. 

Did Ajit Agarkar feel out of place?

No, he was not out of place at all. He was very chill. One of the stories I remember from that World Cup, when they put on the medal, the only person to not take it off was Ajit bhai. He had gotten back to the hotel, showered, and we were meeting for a team get-together to cut a cake. Ajit bhai was still wearing the medal. I asked him, 'Why are you still wearing it?' He told me, 'You don't understand the enormity of what we have achieved. It hasn't hit home, it'll do that eventually.’ It hit home, for me personally, when we landed in India. That's when we felt like we did something special. I mean, we won a World Cup. This is the first after '83. It was a phenomenal feeling. 

At that time, who did you think would be a future commentator? 

Irfan. He used to talk a lot but spoke well. RP Singh, I thought he could be a politician. He's so knowledgeable, I always thought he could do something. Piyush Chawla, I thought would become a commentator 100 percent. He's done a little already. I knew I would become one and it has happened. Also, Mahi will never do it – No chance.

Who did you think would be a future coach?

Not Viru bhai. Irfan is at the top of the list; he is a very enterprising young man. Sree has a lot of knowledge, but I don't know how he'd communicate it. RP also has great knowledge, so he could definitely do it. Ajit bhai has good knowledge, and great communicator as well.

Who was the eternal optimist?

I think it was me and Sreesanth. He's an eternal optimist. You won't find a more optimistic person in life. Even after going through everything he has, he's still extremely optimistic. He's a huge inspiration as well. Mahi always could locate the positive side of things. But the thing is when you want to play at that level, you have to be an optimist. You'll find very few pessimists at that level.

Who was the cricket nerd?

DK (Dinesh Karthik) is also on my list of future commentators. He's a proper cricket nerd too. He knows everything about everyone, every stat, along with all the gossip.

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