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Indian batsman Robin Uthappa is set to make his comeback after shoulder surgery in a new role as a wicketkeeper and middle order batsman.
"I am taking up wicketkeeping quite seriously and will be doing the 'keeping job at the State level in all limited-over formats. I had injured my little finger on the right hand during the 2007 World Cup. I was protecting it till now while on the field. But now I have done a reconstruction of the finger through surgery as I am taking up the 'keeping job," Uthappa was quoted as saying in the Times of India.
Primarily an opening batsman, Uthappa has also decided to drop down the order as he seeks to play the role of a floater in the batting line-up.
"I know I will be used as a floater if I get into the Indian team. So I have decided to relinquish my opening slot in all formats of the game," Uthappa said. "It is better to prepare well under match situations before performing such a role in the big league. So I am looking forward to the upcoming domestic season, particularly the Ranji season."
Uthappa will be playing in the upcoming Champions League T20 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He last played in the IPL where his brutal hitting brought him attention from the Indian selectors.
"I was told that the selectors enquired about my fitness status with the NCA physio before picking the team for the Zimbabwe tri-series. Unfortunately, I had to undergo the surgery and I missed a golden opportunity. I also realize the importance to adapt to the requirements of the national team and the need to make sacrifices. My aim is to perform well and get back to the national team for the home series against Australia."
He said the first ten days post-surgery were most painful. "Surgery in itself was a difficult one for me. I never had a fracture, I never wore a cast, I never had stitches, never been on general anaesthesia, never had a nerve block, and now I had all of it in one day," Uthappa told Bangalore Mirror. "I had a cast right up to my forearm, a sling. I never ever experienced such excruciating pain in my life. I was on narcotics for 20 days, sitting and slouching on bed, passing out almost all the time, and then you lose shape."
Uthappa is currently at the NCA taking tips from NCA fielding coach R Sridhar and former Karnataka wicketkeeper Somashekhar Shiruguppi. He will start batting at the nets after a week. With RCB not naming Mark Boucher in the 20-man probable squad for the Champions League, Uthappa is set to resume wicketkeeping duties for RCB.