IPL 2017: Gautam Gambhir Urges National Selectors To Take Notice Of Robin Uthappa’s IPL Form
With Robin Uthappa in supreme form with the bat in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir has urged the national selectors to keep am an eye on the in-form man.
The highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy 2014-15, the seventh highest run-getter in the 2015-16 Ranji season, the second highest run-getter for Karnataka in first-class cricket after Brijesh Patel, 21 first-class centuries, 48 first-class fifties, Robin Uthappa is one of the biggest names in Indian cricket.
However, the Karnataka ace’s career has not panned out as anyone would have expected. The man who made an impression right in his first tournament, World T20 in 2007 and played an integral part in India’s victorious campaign. But a poor 2008, where ha managed to score only 179 runs in 11 ODI innings, led to his ouster from the team and since then he has struggled to cement his spot.
His form in IPL 2014, where he won the Orange Cap, and also in Ranji Trophy earned him an India recall for the Zimbabwe tour in 2015 but he failed to make a mark. Not surprising, he was dropped from the team and is still waiting for another chance.
An average of just 27.33 in the last edition of Ranji Trophy followed by only one half-century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy did not help his cause either but the right-handed batsman has made amends for it in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League.
331 runs in the first 9 games at an average of over 41 and a stunning strike-rate of over 168, Uthappa is batting better than ever. Apart from his run feast, what has left one and all impressed is his aggressive style of batting. The 31-year old batsman is struck 17 sixes in this edition to sit top of the list and the fact that majority of his runs have come after the powerplay overs speaks volume of his batting prowess.
Just like everyone, Gambhir is also impressed with Uthappa’s batting and has asked the selectors to consider him for a place in the national team. The Knight Riders skipper is not only impressed with his teammate’s batting but also his glove work. He became only the second wicketkeeper after MS Dhoni to effect three stumpings in an IPL match when he made Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary his victims during the game against Rising Pune Supergiant on April 26. He also became the first wicketkeeper to effect 30 stumping in the history of the tournament, 1 more than MS Dhoni.
In a column titled Captain’s Diary for the franchise’s official website, Gambhir wrote: “Uthappa too was brilliant behind and in front of the stumps (against Rising Pune Supergiant). Three stumpings and one of them being a game-changer really helped us. And while batting he displayed beautiful hitting technique. What stood for me was his ability to hit the ball straight. I hope selectors are watching.”
Uthappa had scored 87 off just 47 deliveries against the Pune-based outfit while Gambhir chipped in with 46-ball 62 as the two-time champions chased down the 182-run target with 11 balls remaining.
“In the end, I was satisfied that I also played some part in the win through my batting. To tell you the truth the credit for my innings should also go to Uthappa. I could ease myself in because he was taking risks and smoking them. These are the reasons I love this game – teamwork and selflessness,” he further wrote.
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