Krishnappa Gowtham has stated that he still cannot believe he will play alongside MS Dhoni in the upcoming IPL. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) secured Gowtham's services for a whopping ₹9.25 crore at the IPL 2021 Auction on Thursday.
Krishnappa Gowtham had his base price set at just ₹20 lakh. Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad were also interested in his services, but the MS Dhoni-led side ultimately won the race for his signature. In the process, the all-rounder became the most expensive uncapped Indian player in IPL history.
Gowtham said in a video on IPL's website:
"I am literally like shivering and have no words to explain. It has not gotten into my system yet. It is a dream come true. Always idolize Mahi (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) bhai. The way he is as a human and the way he plays the game and finishes the games off. So yeah, this was something I always envied about him."
Krishnappa Gowtham added he is looking forward to sharing the dressing room with some of the greats of the game. The all-rounder also said he wouldn't let the hefty price tag affect his performance.
"Playing alongside the legends of the game like Raina and Dhoni. I would love to learn how they handle the game. Not too worried because of the price tag because at a given, we have to go out and perform. Having that badge on your head will put unwanted pressure. You just need to go out there and express yourself is what I look up to and do that," Gowtham added.
Krishnappa Gowtham has previously represented Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the IPL. Last season, the 32-year-old only made just two appearances for the Mohali-based outfit.
Why CSK splashed the cash on Krishnappa Gowtham?
With CSK releasing Harbhajan Singh, they were in need of a finger spinner, and Krishnappa Gowtham fit the bill perfectly.
Gowtham is also a destructive lower-order batsman, whose IPL strike rate reads 169.09. In spinning conditions at Chepauk, his off-spin will be more than a handful for the opposition.
CSK's full squad for IPL 2021: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth