Sunday, November 1, 2009

Uthappa targets India return

India discard Robin Uthappa is eyeing an India comeback after remaining in the sidelines for more than 15 months.
Impressive performances in BCCI Corporate Trophy and Champions League Twenty20 have brought Uthappa back into the notice of selectors who picked him as vice-captain for Board President's XI side to play a three-day tour game against Sri Lanka in Mumbai from November 11-13.

"I have worked a lot on my batting. There is a slight alteration in the way I bat now. There is a change in grip, stance, and there is a bit of modification in the back-lift.

It's really working out for me," Uthappa told PTI in an interview.

"The past couple of months have been very good, fruitful for me. It all started with the inaugural BCCI Corporate Trophy where I played a significant role in our team's winning the tournament," Uthappa, who played for Air India Red in the BCCI Corporate Trophy, said remembering his match-winning 157 not out in the final on September 9.

"I am really looking forward to a good performance against Sri Lanka and a comeback (in Indian team). I have the support and lot of well-wishers," Uthappa said.

Uthappa totalled 230 runs with a staggering average of 115 in the BCCI Corporate Trophy and later representing Royal Challengers Bangalore he carried his fine form into the Airtel Champions League Twenty20.

Asked how he remained motivated in the last 15 months out of the Indian team, Uthappa said, "It's the love and passion for cricket and to serve for my country that has been motivating me. I don't need anybody in particular to motivate me."

"I have grown and matured as a cricketer now. Probably, I am calmer now and understand my potential as a match-winner," added the Karnataka batsman who was dropped from the Indian side following a string of poor performances in the Asia Cup last year.

Uthappa, who has played 38 ODIs since his debut against England in 2006, said India had been doing well under Mahendra Singh Dhoni and are favourites to win against Australia in the ongoing seven-match series.

"In the ongoing series, we are on course (with a 2-1 lead) for a series win, though it's difficult to predict by how many matches we would win. In Nagpur, Dhoni played a truly memorable knock, which I am sure would have silenced his critics who doubted his ability," Uthappa said.

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