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Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game and it is a dream for every cricketer to play the pristine form of the game for his national team. Robin Uthappa had similar dreams but he believes that he changed his batting technique to pursue Test cricket at the wrong age. Consequently, the stylish batsman feels he had to compromise on some of his attacking batting to be more consistent in the Test fold.
Uthappa had a brilliant start to his ODI career as he almost became the first Indian batsman to score a century on debut. The flamboyant batsman scored 86 runs in his maiden match against England at Nagpur, helping his team to chase down 289.
Robin Uthappa had all the right skills.
Subsequently, Uthappa was part of India’s 2007 World T20 winning campaign and we all remember him taking out his cap to take the applause from the crowd in a bowl-out against Pakistan.
Uthappa recalled that the dream was always to play Test cricket for the Indian team. However, he could not get into the team at the right time. It should also be noted that it was a difficult job back then to make it into the Test side as India possessed a batting order that read – Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, and Sourav Ganguly.
Hence, one had to score tons of runs in the domestic circuit to knock on the selection doors.
“My biggest goal was to play Test cricket for India,” Uthappa said during a Rajasthan Royals podcast session. “Had I pursued that at 20-21, I probably by this time would’ve played Test cricket. I wanted to have no regrets at the end of my career and wanted to be sure that I brought the best out of me.”
“Hence at 25, I decided to overhaul my batting technique under Pravin Amre and became a technically better batsman who could be there for long and bat for long hours and be more consistent, which made me let go of some of my batting aggression in the process,” he said.
“I thought to play Test cricket for India, I needed to alter my technique …….In hindsight, I may have pursued the goal at the wrong time at 25 years of age,” he said.
The Karnataka batsman played 46 ODIs in which he scored 934 runs at a paltry average of 25.94. He also scored 249 runs in 13 T20Is however never could make the cut into the Test side. Uthappa amassed 9446 runs in 142 first-class matches at an average of 40.71. The right-hander has been a consistent performer in the IPL as he has scored 4411 runs in 177 matches at an average of 28.83.