Zee Media Bureau/Andrew Amsan
New Delhi: Kolkata Knight Riders` flamboyant opening batsman Robin Uthappa is on a roll. Scoring 422 runs at a strike rate of 129.44, he is the highest Indian run-getter in IPL 7 so far.
Uthappa, who did not start this season on the right foot, has however, pulled things back. After a poor show in the UAE leg, the wicketkeeper batsman has scored 325 runs at an average of 54.16 in six games played in India, which includes a match-winning knock of 80 off just 52 balls against the Mumbai Indians.
Uthappa`s recent exploits have thrown some weight behind his long term aspiration of making a comeback into the star-studded Indian side.
Uthappa has never failed to show his eagerness to return back to the Indian side. Uthappa has stated that he would like to open for India and is very confident that he would get an opportunity to do so. The prolific batsman who scores heavily for Karnataka in the domestic circuit, would be itching to emulate the same performance at the international level.
He has provided KKR, a much-needed sturdiness at the top of the order. An aggressive batsman by nature, he has shown great maturity and calmness this season. He has played the deliveries according to their merit , something which he had not been very adept at in the past. Instead of going berserk from the outset, a temptation which has claimed his wicket often, he has tried to spend time at the crease and construct his innings. Uthappa has earlier played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors in the IPL.
Uthappa`s good run, could see his name featuring in the Indian squad which will play against Bangladesh in June this year. However, the competition for the opening slot is very stiff. With Ajinkya Rahane in good touch and Shikhar Dhawan showing signs of revival, the task at hand is tougher than it seems.
One thing which might play in his favour, is his wicket-keeping skills. But there are others too in the fray - Ambati Rayudu, Naman Ojha, Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel have all had a decent season so far. But Uthappa`s batting has been a treat to watch and he stakes a claim to be in the Indian side.
Uthappa will have to pull out something extraordinary from his kitty, if he wants to catch the eye of the selectors. While Rohit Sharma has looked solid as an opener, we will have to wait and see who bats alongside him.
For now, let`s just enjoy Uthappa's batting for KKR!