Uthappa suffers another hamstring injury
Robin Uthappa, the Karnataka opening batsman, has injured his right hamstring and will be out for a couple of weeks. This is second time in a month a hamstring pull has affected his Ranji Trophy campaign.
"The physio examined him and felt that Robin would be out at least for one week if not two," J Arun Kumar, the Karnataka coach, told ESPNcricinfo. According to Kumar, Uthappa will work with John Gloster, the former Indian physiotherapist, but he is bound to miss at least the next two rounds of the Ranji Trophy.
The Karnataka selectors have included Vinay Kumar and Stuart Binny in the squad for the moment. Vinay returns to lead the team after missing two matches due to India duty during the home ODIs against West Indies. Binny has recovered from a hamstring injury, and the pair's inclusion has offset the absence of Uthappa. Karnataka next play Haryana away and Punjab at home, before rounding off 2013 by hosting Mumbai and travelling to Delhi.
Although Karnataka registered their first outright victory this season, against Odisha on Sunday, Uthappa was able to play just about half of the four-day match. He injured his hamstring while fielding in Odisha's first innings and then aggravated it while batting. He made 33 in Karnataka's first innings before he was trapped lbw by Odisha fast bowler Basant Mohanty. Uthappa then did not take the field, and only returned to bat at No. 7 in the second innings. His inability to even move his back leg proved to be a handicap, which Mohanty used to his advantage for the second time in the match, trapping Uthapp plumb for three-ball duck.
Uthappa had a busy off-season and then played various invitational tournaments as part of his preparation for the domestic season. But the hamstring tendinitis in his left leg, an injury that he suffered for the first time in 2007, resurfaced forcing Uthappa out for seven weeks.
On his return last week, Uthappa did not show any rustiness, as he made an aggressive and influential 86 (in an opening partnership of 124) in Nagpur against Vidarbha. After Vidarbha had played out two days and a session to raise a massive 542, Karnataka were left with less than five sessions to secure the lead and Uthappa, in the company of his opening partner Mayank Agarwal provided the start for the middle order to build on. Karnataka eventually managed to gain the lead and the three vital points.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo