Uthappa ready for the tough challenge

My focus is on playing good cricket for RCB

Robin Uthappa

But since then, the curve has been largely downward as the Bangalore lad has struggled to hold on to his place.

The next fortnight might usher in a much-desired change in the fortune for Uthappa. The Kodava player will turn out for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Champions League, and the ambitions of returning to the Indian side will burn bright alongside his desire to spearhead RCB to the summit in the 16-day tournament.

“The Champions League is a great opportunity for me. I want to do well here and my focus is on playing good cricket for Challengers. There are some good sides and quality players in the tournament. So it will be a tough challenge but I am ready for it,” he said.

Not limited to words

Uthappa’s efforts to excel are not limited to words. He proved he has not forgotten the run-making ways with an aggressive hundred for Air India Red in the Corporate Trophy final early last month, but Virat Kohli’s sizzling show for the India Emerging team in Australia earned the Delhiite a ticket to the national team when Gautam Gambhir suffered a groin injury in Sri Lanka during the tri-series.

Uthappa refused to get bogged down and showed his resilience in the recently concluded Karnataka Premier League. He was seen bowling his gentle medium pacers and the right-hander agreed it was not a mere spur of the moment decision.

“I have been working on my bowling for a while now and the KPL has given me a good platform to try out a few things. The nature of Twenty20 is such that you need to be good at more than one skill.

“Hopefully, it will stand me in good stead in the Champions League,” Uthappa, who last played for India in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2008, said.
His attempts to improve, however, was not just limited to bowling. “I have always given emphasis to my fielding. It is nice to know that my work is getting noticed (Indian skipper MS Dhoni had lauded Uthappa’s fielding skills recently), but there is always room for improvement and I am focused on that.”

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