Who eats butter chicken without chicken? Well, MS Dhoni does!

Butter chicken without chicken, only gravy; chicken without rotis — these are some of the peculiar dining habits of Captain Cool MS Dhoni, says long-time colleague Robin Uthappa

MS Dhoni, Butter chicken, Robin Uthappa, My Time With Heroes
Uthappa believes Dhoni’s outstanding captaincy record was due to his sharp instincts | File Photo: PTI

MS Dhoni’s long-time colleague, former India cricketer Robin Uthappa, has revealed some peculiar dining habits of the Chennai Super Kings captain. One of them involves eating butter chicken without…er…the chicken!

In an episode of My Time With Heroes on JioCinema, the right-handed batter has spilled the beans on Mahi’s rigid eating practices. “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,” Uthappa has said in the episode titled My Time With Dhoni ft. Uthappa.

“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,” Uthappa goes on.

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Whether Dhoni’s “weird” eating habits are about fitness or personal taste is not clear, though. The former Indian captain is one of the fittest among his contemporaries, and at 41, he is set to lead CSK once again in IPL 2023.

However, Uthappa has known the wicketkeeper-batter for two decades, and the duo have shared the dressing room internationally as well as in the IPL for CSK. Uthappa has also shared other details about their time together, starting from their first meeting at an India camp in NCA Bangalore in 2003.

Simplicity and frankness

For instance, he has talked about Dhoni’s remarkable simplicity. “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,” Uthappa says in the episode.

Talking about his time in the CSK team, Uthappa says, “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.’”

Talking about Dhoni’s outstanding record as “Captain Cool,” Uthappa believes it was due to due to his sharp instincts. “He has sharp instincts and he backs his own instincts… He takes responsibility for every outcome, whether it is a win or a loss. If he makes 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 four or five out of 10 times, Dhoni’s instincts are sound eight times or nine times,” Uthappa says.

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Uthappa has also revealed Dhoni’s bluntness while sharing an anecdote about an IPL auction a few years ago. “MS is a very open person. He does not hesitate in speaking the truth, even if it hurts you,” Uthappa says.

“I remember when I was signed by CSK in the auction, he called me and said, ‘I am not sure 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 adds in the interview.