India news January 24, 2011

Uthappa still craves national cap

ESPNcricinfo staff

Robin Uthappa may have forged a lucrative career in the IPL with his clean hitting, but has said that he still craves the India cap, though he hasn't represented the country since 2008. Uthappa fetched a whopping $2.1 million from the Pune franchise at the 2011 IPL auction, making him the second most expensive cricketer in the league, after Gautam Gambhir.

"It feels pretty good and satisfying," Uthappa told PTI. "There are people who think that I am worth that much. [But] eventually my passion is to play for the country first. The India cap is lot dearer to me than playing in the IPL. Players should strive hard to represent their country first than go for the IPL event. When they play for their country, their worth becomes that much that they can command good money.

"I hope to do well in the IPL and also hope that the [India] selectors take note of my performance. I have always tried to perform to the best of my abilities whenever I have got an opportunity to play for the country. But it's up to the selectors whether I fit in their scheme of things or not."

Uthappa played for India in the 2007 one-day World Cup and was a key member of their World Twenty20 success the same year. However, he lost his place in the limited-overs' sides after a series of poor performances. Following two indifferent seasons, he proved his worth in IPL 2010 as an attacking batsman-wicketkeeper for Bangalore, leading to his astronomical valuation at the auction earlier this month.

"To be honest, I don't know how to react," Uthappa said about his price tag. "But I was sure to come somewhere close to that amount. The fact that I belong to Pune Warriors, makes me responsible towards them. I will play to the best of my ability for my new team. I am okay with the swapping [from Bangalore to Pune]. New team and new thinking, that's all. Naturally, there was a bonding, but that's okay."

Uthappa's biggest strength as a batsman is his ability to walk down the track to fast bowlers, and hit them straight or with a horizontal bat, depending on the length bowled. "People are becoming lot more open-minded about the shots," he explained. "It depends on the situation and how much you have practiced. As a batsman, you are experimenting more with the sweep shot, the paddle-sweep, you walk down and play those shots. It's all innovation and it is only going to go forward."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aswin on January 30, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    @Hari Hara sudhan K Uthappa is a good player against spin, off course he has hit sixes against muralitharan etc.. JAdeja is not a big bowler, so uthappa can handle him also, and moreover one or two matches doesnt decide player performance abilties. Uthappa is a unlucky , since he didn even get continous 10 matches atleast to represent INDIA as Mr .SRIK ( tamil selector) gave chances to vijay and rohit etc. so unjustice is being done RObin uthappa

  • syed on January 28, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    robin is from bangalore so he is unluckly if he would have played for cheenai super kings thn srikanth would have thought to pick him for world cup.if srikanth does same role in future then forget india of lifting the W/c & other trophys best of luck mr srikanth and team india

  • DINESH on January 28, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Since the second line wicket keepers like Dinesh Kaarthik, Parthiv Patel, Wridhman Saha and Naman Ojha are not performing well, Uthappa should improve his wicket keeping standards so that he can come back into the team.

  • DINESH on January 28, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    REDHILLS: You have not written anything about his wicket keeping abilities.

  • Chetan on January 27, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Robin Uthappa is one of the best batsmen I have seen. The only problem with his batting is a willingness to risk his wicket unnecessarily to show off that he can innovate, an approach I do not subscribe to. I was at the Wankhede stadium during IPL 1, when he was playing fantastic cricket shots & winning the game for Mumbai. He suddenly decided to try & show the world that he could innovate & chucked his wicket at the opposition 2 games in a row. Though his native Bangalore chose to buy him from Mumbai, I do not think too many captains would be willing to trust him to represent them on the field of play. He now has to regain the trust of the Indian team management before he can be selected.

  • manikandan on January 27, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    I think Mr. Srikanth is baised and he completely avoided uthappa because of the 2 qaulities of uthappa, that is 1) He batted like kumble, mcgrath and muralidharan 2)He bowled like Sachin, pietersen and shewag..

    I think uthappa should be included in world cup.. start the music.....................................

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    i am a hyderabadi but their are no hyderabad or AP players in deccan chargers so how shoulda i support the team ist edition it was called australian team and this time it will be called srilankan team if sanga is captain

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Rohit Sharma not consistent player and also no discipline. If he follows atleast this time SRT in IPL4, he will be good batsman. Vijay also not a ODI batsman. Only worry NEHRA, he will change game in this world cup.

  • Runster on January 26, 2011, 1:13 GMT

    great aim. IPL is great...but ranji trophy and India have to be at the top of the list.

  • Xavier on January 25, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    I dont understand why all the people are worried abt Rohit Sharma not getting selected to the world cup when robin Uthappa is also sitting out. Robin is far more ahead a good batsman than Rohit. Did anyone notice that VVS Laxman who is labelled as a test batsman has a better avarage in ODI's with more or less the same strike rate when compared to Rohit. Pls forget abt Rohit and move ahead. No doubt there is talent, but talent is of no use when it is not proved. Way to go robin....u rock in IPL and Indian colours will come in search of u.

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