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‘MS Dhoni was the 1st to lift me up’: Anil Kumble salutes ‘heavyweight’ MSD, namedrops Tendulkar in king-sized remark

All praise for ‘heavyweight’ MS Dhoni before IPL 2024, Anil Kumble also recalled his coaching stint with Sachin Tendulkar’s MI.

Even though MS Dhoni is embracing the twilight phase of his trophy-laden T20 career, legendary Indian cricketer Anil Kumble won’t be surprised if the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) icon opts to play for another season in the Indian Premier League (IPL). CSK’s charismatic leader, Dhoni, landed in Chennai for the 2024 edition of the IPL last week. Dhoni’s grand entry in Chennai managed to break the internet before the start of the new season.

Kumble recalled working with Dhoni and Tendulkar(IPL-AP-PTI)

Drawing parallels between Dhoni and Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, spin-bowling icon Kumble recalled working with the CSK skipper. Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Kumble never played IPL cricket with Dhoni, but the former India skipper shared the MI locker room with the Little Master. Kumble was Team India’s coach when Dhoni led the Men In Blue from the front. The former India captain also worked as a mentor with Tendulkar’s MI franchise.

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ALSO READ: ‘Team India needs Rohit Sharma’: Harbhajan Singh shares crucial advice for ‘selfless’ MI superstar before IPL 2024

‘Never played with MS Dhoni in the IPL’

“I never played with MS in the IPL. When I played with him in the Indian team, he was the first one to lift me up. I guess he was the strongest of the lot to lift a heavyweight. It was a fantastic moment for me. I remember, when I was coach and he was the captain, we were in Ranchi for a one-day game, for an optional practice session, he didn’t need to come as Ranchi is his hometown. But he was there for the session. I said, ‘What are you doing? We still have a couple of days before the next game.’ He said, ‘No, I just want to be around.’ That’s him”’ Kumble told Star Sports.

Nicknamed Jumbo, Kumble guided RCB to the IPL final in 2009. Kumble was roped in by Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians as the Chief Mentor of the franchise in 2013. Kumble spent three years in Mumbai as the mentor of the five-time champions. In his first year at Mumbai, the Men In Blue won the IPL title and the Champions League in 2013. Mumbai were also crowned IPL champions in 2015.

‘Sachin was the same’: Kumble recalls IPL stint with MI

“Sachin was the same. When I was with Mumbai Indians, Sachin had played around 25 or 26 years of cricket. But on optional days, he’d be the first one to be in the bus. These two guys, I don’t think can take a break. I won’t be surprised if MS continues to play for CSK, because that’s his optional session. He’s so passionate, he wants to be there,” Kumble added.

CSK vs RCB: Dhoni to headline IPL 2024 opener

Dhoni’s CSK side has kickstarted their pre-season training camp. The likes of Deepak Chahar, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Simarjeet Singh, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Mukesh Choudhary, Prashant Solanki, Ajay Mandal, Shaik Rasheed and Nishant Sindhu have already joined the CSK camp for IPL 2024. Dhoni’s CSK will meet Virat Kohli-starrer RCB in the IPL 2024 opener on March 22.


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