What’s the story?
Out-of-favour Karnataka batsman Robin Uthappa is certainly nowhere close to a National call-up and this in many ways defines his cricketing career, as despite being a gifted stroke-maker who has unbridled ability to win matches, Uthappa has never been able to cement his place in the Indian side.
However, according to stats and Impact Index numbers, the Karnataka boy is the unluckiest player ever from India in the shortest format.
Ever since his ODI debut against England Uthappa grabbed the attention of cricket fans all over due to his attractive stroke making ability and elegance while wielding the willow. The Impact Index numbers have proof that the burly boy should have been included in the 2016 World T20 squad and that the fact he only played 6 T20Is after his performances in the 2007 World T20 is one big travesty.
Uthappa had a sterling run in the 2913 Ranji Season and his form was instrumental in Karnataka’s glorious run in the Domestic circuit. He took his red ball form into the IPL and opened the innings with Gautam Gambhir for KKR where he was in sublime touch right through the season.
He went on to win the Orange Cap for being the highest run-getter. He amassed 660 runs at an average of 47 and with a strike rate of 138. Even after these performances, he was not included in the only T20 India played against England.
Brushing aside the snub, Uthappa carried on his form into the Champions League where he once again emerged the highest impact for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He was included in the side for the ODI series against Sri Lanka where he batted at 6 or 7 and did not enough opportunities to do anything with the bat; he was subsequently dropped.
During the 2015 IPL, he was once again the leading run-scorer of KKR and hence was always on the selector’s radar. He was given a chance in the team which toured Zimbabwe. He did not quite set the stage on fire in the ODIs but was back to scoring runs in the shortest format. He scored 39 and 42 in the two innings despite not batting at his preferred opening position.
However, when the squad was announced for the World T20 he was not included in the squad and was dropped in favour of Shikhar Dhawan.
In case you didn’t know...
In 198 T20 matches, Robin Uthappa has scored 5059 runs at an average of 29.41 with a strike rate of 132.74.
The selectors have always looked at him as an International prospect but his inability to curb his strokeplay has cost him National cap on many occasions. He is also a handy wicket-keeper and the selectors could have missed a trick by not giving a longer rope in T20s.
A player can only control his performances and Uthappa would want to score big runs in this year’s IPL and throw his name back into the fray.
He is an established member of the Kolkata Knight Riders team and has forged a great opening combination with his captain Gautam Gambhir.
Getting into the Indian team has always needed eye catching performances and along the way, Uthappa has not been able to cash in and play those decisive innings when it mattered the most and this could have cost him a more prosperous International career.
He is 31 now and if he manages to score big runs in the IPL, he could well get another shot in the Indian team.