Chennai Super Kings (CSK) throwdown specialist, Kondappa Raj Palani, recalled his first meeting with MS Dhoni, days after the legendary cricketer announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, 2020.
Notably, Dhoni retired from international cricket before the start of the IPL 2020 in the UAE. CSK was undergoing a preparatory camp in Chennai and that’s when Palani was asked to be a part of the group and he had the chance to bowl to the CSK skipper.
He also revealed that before the start of the IPL 2020, there were talks about Dhoni’s retirement, and the former captain left the cricketing world shocked by announcing his decision on August 15, 2022.
Palani told CSK’s website: “The first time, the camp started when Dhoni retired. I saw him for the first time then. He asked if you were the throwers. He asked me to throw balls at him. The team was pleased after that. The net bowlers were speaking about his retirement. After two or three weeks, he came to play sidearm. Everybody was arriving.”
He was nervous bowling to Dhoni and it led to a couple of wrong deliveries, after which, the CSK skipper came to him and asked him to play his natural game.
He recalled, “Fleming, Hussey, and everyone said Dhoni was coming and asked me to bowl carefully. The first two balls were wides. The next ball was a full toss. Dhoni came to me and said ‘Stop looking at me and bowl’.”
Palani signed off by saying, “He asked me to play naturally. I then started bowling wherever he wanted and then he was very happy. He started addressing me every day since with my name.”