Robin Uthappa has stood out for his trademark shot, walking down the wicket to loft over the bowler's head. But such rash shots have often led to the Karnataka batsman's downfall.
The 27-year-old now wants to eliminate such risks to try and regain his India spot and sees his inclusion in the India 'A' squad to face New Zealand A in a one-day series this month end as a first step. Uthappa speaks to HT.
How do you see your India 'A' selection?
For the last year-and-a-half, I have been working on different aspects of my game - physical and mental. This is the first step towards making it to the India team.
How have you changed over the last season?
I needed a level of consistency to have the kind of season I did. Before the last season, I knew I was only 50-60% ready. But, if I could still have a decent season, I knew I can achieve a lot more.
Would you say you are more mature?
The definition of aggression has changed for me. I'm still an aggressive batsman, but I put a bigger price on my wicket. And technical changes helped me finish among the top-ten run-getters in the IPL despite difficult conditions in Pune (Pune Warriors' home). I changed my grip and stance, which allowed me a better base.
What keeps you motivated?
I believe I belong to the India team. I never batted in one position for three games at a stretch. Had I done that in my 38 ODIs, I would have cemented my place. And Test cricket is something I have wanted since I picked up the bat.
Have you spoken to senior players?
I met Dravid a couple of weeks ago. He had heard I scored a triple century (in the Safi Darashan tournament). He came and watched me bat and told me he was very happy with how I have changed my batting approach.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.