Indian cricket March 15, 2009

Uthappa targets World Twenty20 comeback

Cricinfo staff

Robin Uthappa last played for India in the Asia Cup in July 2008 © AFP

Robin Uthappa, the Indian batsman, has hopes of making a comeback to the national team for the World Twenty20 to be held in England in June. Uthappa was left out of the Indian team after a relatively disappointing run of performances where he managed just one half-century in his last ten innings and averaged 21.75. However, he has since struck form with a century for Karnataka in their Ranji Trophy match against Andhra, and a couple of impressive knocks while representing South Zone in the Duleep Trophy.

"I would love to be part of the second edition of the Twenty20 World Cup," he told PTI. "It will be great to be again a part of the side that won the first Twenty20 World Cup."

Uthappa, who is currently playing for South Zone in the Deodhar Trophy, is banking on his recent form to win him a place in the competition. He last played for India in the Asia Cup in July 2008. "It's a process of learning and I am taking it positively. I am taking this time to grow as a cricketer. I am taking this time to understand my batting, bowling and fielding ... To contribute to the team more," he said. "I have been fielding, bowling well and keeping as well. I have been a 'keeper and can bowl a bit. These are things that will obviously count in a Twenty20 cricket or one-dayers. These are options that I have kept open.

"I do feel the pinch that I am not there in the side but am not dejected. Yet, I believe without going down you can't come up. Greats like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly have gone through the lows. Only because they have gone through the lows that they have come up so hard and high. I believe it's a matter of time that I will be back in the side."

Uthappa led Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy and has dealt with the additional responsibility reasonably well. His team managed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament, and he ensured the burden of captaincy had a positive impact on his batting. "This Ranji Trophy season has been a very good for me. I have been captaining the side as well as taking responsibility while batting," he said. "I have to make sure that I need to score every time I go in the middle and give the side a good foundation.

"Captaincy is something that has come as a surprise to me and it's working quite well for me. I am enjoying the responsibility. I worked with Rahul , learnt a lot thing from him [and] Anil bhai.

"I have learnt a lot about myself, what my limitations are and how to be successful with those limitations, how do to go about playing in different conditions."