Uthappa says his best is yet to come

Last Updated: Monday, February 5, 2007 - 17:34

Bangalore, Feb 05: 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 was only the beginning and he had
more to offer.

Uthappa said he had worked a lot on his batting in the
past year and there was 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 in an interview.

The 21-year-old opener, who gave ample display of his
strokemaking 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 would 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 had 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 U-19 days as well. I enjoyed keeping as it is a very
interesting part of the game," he said.

Uthappa regarded Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid as his
idols since his childhood and had 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.

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, February 5, 2007 - 00:00
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