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Uthappa keen to open the batting in T20 against England

Last updated on: October 28, 2011 16:18 IST

Uthappa keen to open the batting in T20 against England

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Recalled to the Indian side after a gap of three years, Robin Uthappa said he would love to open the batting and get India off to a blazing start against World No 1 England in the one-off T20 International, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on Saturday.

"In T20 you need to be flexible. I prefer opening the batting and really enjoy it. Most definitely, I would open the batting," said Uthappa.

"It's one of the opportunities to go out there and express myself as a cricketer. That's what I am looking forward to do...just to go out there and get the team off to a good start," he added.

The burly Karnataka batsman, who was instrumental in India's inaugural World Twenty20 triumph in 2007, found himself out of favour after the Asia Cup the following year and remained on the sidelines since then.


Image: Robin Uthappa
Photographs: Getty Images
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Opportunity for Uthappa to cement his place in team

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Uthappa's last T20 International was against Australia in February 2008, and he says Saturday would be a good opportunity for him to cement his place in the national team.

"There is freedom to perform, more than pressure to perform. It's just one game so I want to go there and enjoy myself. The kind of game that I play, if I come out well then the winning chances are a lot more," the 25-year-old said.

Three back-to-back half centuries in the domestic T20 tournament, for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and a century (132) for India Green in the Challengers Cup recently helped him secure a berth in the side for the one-off Twenty20 International between India and England.

Uthappa said in the last few years he worked hard on being more consistent and playing his natural game.

"I have worked on a lot of things. I tried to be more consistent. When I was dropped I worked on my batting. I realised that I've to play my natural game and express myself as a batsman," he explained.


Image: Robin Uthappa
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Want to finish on winning note'

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The attacking right-hander said India, having already blanked England 5-0 in the One-day series, will also be keen to upstage the reigning World T20 champions in the lone Twenty20 game.

"It would be great to finish on a winning note after doing so well in the One-day series. We are all looking forward to the Twenty20 match. It would be good to have some icing on the cake," said Uthappa.

The Karnataka batsman, however, admitted that England would not be easy opponents

."They will take the confidence from the fact that they are the No. 1 Twenty20 side in the world. They would want to come hard at us and definitely would like to finish the tour on a winning note. We are expecting them to come out all guns blazing tomorrow."

On the wicket that was slow in the fifth and final One-dayer, in Kolkata, which India won by 95 runs, Uthappa said: "The practice wicket seems really slow. I was told the centre wicket is not as slow. Hoping that it would be a good one."

He also said that the players would take dew factor into consideration.

"Dew has always been a factor in India and always plays a role. Cricketers have taken this in their stride."

On the new run-out rule, Uthappa said, "It's fair. You are negating any form of cheating. If a fielder has an accurate throw at hitting the stumps and the batsman comes between then it is against fair play."


Image: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (centre) listens to coach Duncan Fletcher, as teammate Virat Kohli (left) smiles, during a practice session ahead of their Twenty20 international against England
Photographs: Reuters
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