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Home > Cricket > PTI > Report


Uthappa says his best is yet to come

February 05, 2007 17:58 IST

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Two blazing knocks in the home series against the West Indies may have catapulted Robin Uthappa into serious contention for a World Cup berth, but the Karnataka opener says it is only the beginning and he has more to offer.

Uthappa says he worked a lot on his batting in the past year and there is a lot more to his game than what people have seen.

"I think you need to wait and watch how I play and deliver. I've just played two games after I've come back into the side. There is lot more to my game than what people have just seen. God willing it will all go according to plan," Uthappa said.

The 21-year-old opener, who gave ample display of his stroke-making ability in two matches against the West Indies, is now looking forward to the two matches against Sri Lanka to cement a place in the World Cup team.

Although the World Cup squad will be announced after these two matches, Uthappa wants to take one game at a time and not worry too much about the future.

"I think it's important for a person just to worry about the present. I'm thinking of only the present and not the future. When you are thinking of the future you are inviting unnecessary pressure. I'm just thinking of the next two games against Sri Lanka," he said.

Uthappa has been selected in the list of 30 probables and will have to wait till February 12 to know whether he would board the plane to the West Indies for the mega event, to be held in March-April.

"These are very important games before the World Cup. I think it will be a huge confidence booster for all of us if we win. Playing at home means advantage is on our side too. We completely enjoy the support of the crowd," he said.

With Virender Sehwag being recalled to the team after being dropped for the series against the West Indies, Uthappa is looking forward to a fruitful partnership at the top of the order if the Delhi batsman is asked to open the innings.

On whether there was a possibility that the two will open the innings, he said, "I don't know. It will be really wise to wait and watch before claiming anything."

The Karnataka opener was full of praise for Sehwag and said he did not foresee any problem since he could strike a very good rapport with him.

"I think we understand each other well. He is always been a good motivator. I think we will share a good rapport if we open together."

Sehwag and Uthappa have opened the innings for India only once -- against the West Indies in Port of Spain, Trinidad, last year. The Karnataka batsman was dismissed for a duck on that occasion.

Uthappa's temperament was often seen as a drawback in the past but he says that he has overcome that problem now.

"I've worked hard on it and I'm pleased with my fair amount of consistency this season. As a team, Karnataka worked very hard and I enjoyed the responsibility and made sure that I performed in every game I played," said Uthappa, who scored 854 runs in seven Ranji matches.

He felt that his ability to keep wickets was an advantage as the team could depend on him in case it is required.

"I have enjoyed keeping. I still do it on and off. I kept during my Under-19 days as well. I enjoyed keeping as it is a very interesting part of the game," he said.

Uthappa regards Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid as his idols since childhood and says he learnt a lot by watching them play.

Son of Venu Uthappa, an international hockey umpire, Robin said although hockey was in his blood, cricket came more naturally.

"I enjoyed cricket a lot as a child. It came as something natural to me than hockey and I enjoyed my cricket. I always loved picking up a bat than a racquet or a stick," he said.

Having forced his way into the Indian team, how does it feel?

"It is a big honour and privilege for me to play for the country. It's always been a dream for me," he added.

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