- Oct 4, 2023
- Sep 16, 2022
Indian batter and one of the 2007 T20 World Cup heroes, Robin Uthappa, back in the days was known for his elegant stroke-making. He was one of those players who was unafraid to take the game on and played an aggressive brand of cricket. His career took off straight away when he played the eye-catching knock of 86 against England on his international debut in 2006 in ODIs.
Uthappa last donned India’s jersey in July 2015 in Zimbabwe and was seen again in the African country for the recently concluded India tour of Zimbabwe but as a broadcaster. The 36-year-old revealed how a call from the Indian management, affected his chances of representing the national team again.
In India’s Zimbabwe tour of 2015, India sent a second-string side led by Ajinkya Rahane. Uthappa was selected as the specialist wicketkeeper-batter. He was of the idea that it might be his last chance to cement his spot in the Indian side. But to his surprise, the veteran batter, who is naturally an opener was asked to bat in the middle order by the team management. The openers for India on that tour were interim-skipper Rahane and Murali Vijay while Uthappa had to slot in at No.5 on most of the occasions.
“I was told I’m gonna be batting down the order only after we reached there (Zimbabwe). I said ‘oh I’ve got to realign myself’ as I was preparing to open the innings,” Uthappa said on Sony Sports Network.
Former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim, who was a part of the selection committee back then, was also present in the expert panel when Uthappa shared his thoughts. “Yes Robin, we were looking at you as a backup wicket-keeping option,” he said.
The dashing batter did not have a great outing with the bat on the Zimbabwe tour and unfortunately, it turned out to be his last series for India.
One of the reasons why Uthappa’s batting position was not constant was the emergence of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The opening duo was quite exceptional and this meant that the Indian batter had to be content with batting in the middle order. In the limited opportunities the right-hander got, he was not able to have much success with the bat.
Uthappa was last seen in action in the Indian T20 League 2022 where he played for the Chennai Franchise.