U is for Robin (U)thappa a great cricketer who did not live up to his true potential – #BlogchatterAtoZ #AtoZChallenge 2019
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For the letter ‘U’, I initially thought of writing about the star of the track and field Usain Bolt, but later decided to write about on our own desi IPL cricket star Robin Uthappa. Many people might consider it rather ridiculous to choose someone like Uthappa over an international star like Usain Bolt but I definitely had some extremely convincing reasons. You see, I was one of those people who had watched the ICC Twenty20 World Cup played in the year 2007 in South Africa.
I watched almost all the matches on television and I still remember how, in a couple of crucial matches, Uthappa charged forward and repeatedly hit short pitched rising deliveries for sixes all around the field. I expected great things of him but somehow this batsman with such phenomenal talent has been relegated to playing in the IPL alone and has not risen to his true potential.
And for this reason alone, I have chosen to bring you Uthappa’s story over someone as formidable and famous as Usain Bolt. So here goes. Robin Venu Uthappa was born in Kodagu in Karnataka. His date of birth is 11, November 1985. His mother Roselyn is a Malayali and his father Venu Uthappa who was a former Hockey umpire is a Hindu. He married his girlfriend Sheetal Gautham on March 2016.
Robin Uthappa in addition to being a dazzling batsman is also a wicket keeper. Uthappa debuted in ODI’s in the final match of the English team’s tour of India in April 2006. He opened the innings and made an impressive 86 runs before he was run out. This was the highest score for an Indian debutant in an ODI. Uthappa has been nicknamed ‘The Walking Assassin’ because of his tendency to charge forward and hit the bowler powerfully for sixers. In the third ODI in the series against the West Indies in January 2017, he scored a quick and impressive 70.
In the 2007 ICC Twenty20 World Cup India was placed in group D. In the match against Pakistan held on 14th September, Uthappa scored an impressive 50 off 39 deliveries. This match was won by India by virtue of a bowl-out. In the semi-final against Australia, he again scored 34 off 28 balls which proved crucial.
In the NatWest ODI Series of 2007–2008, he scored 47 runs off 33 balls in the sixth ODI to take India to a brilliant victory, keeping Indian hopes alive in the 7 match series. In this particular match, he came in at no 7 instead of his usual opening position. When he came in India were 5 down for 234 after 40.2 overs and still needing 83 from less than 10 overs. Dhoni got out in the 47th over with the Indian score at 294. Uthappa, however, batted calmly and took India to the target with just two balls to spare.
In IPL Uthappa played for the Mumbai Indians team in 2008 and was reasonably successful. In January 2009 he was swapped with Zaheer Khan and moved to Royal Challengers Bangalore. He did not perform too well in 2009. In 2010 he scored a 21 ball 50 against King’s XI Punjab which was the second fastest 50 in IPL. This set up a handsome victory for RCB. He scored a couple of match-winning innings against Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders to set up victories for RCB in the 2010 season.
He ended the 2010 season with 374 runs from 14 innings with an average of 31.16. He also hit the maximum number of sixes in 2010 which was a whopping 27. In 2011 he was bought by Pune Warriors for a huge sum of INR 9.4 crores. Though Pune Warriors did not perform too well, Uthappa remained the top scorer with 405 runs from 16 innings. Again in 2012, he scored 434 runs in the season.
From 2014 to 2019 he has been playing for Kolkata Knight Riders and he has been uniformly performing well. In 2014 he won the Orange Cap, which is given for scoring most runs in the season. Uthappa scored 660 runs thereby creating a T20 record of scoring more than 40 runs in 8 consecutive games. This record was previously held by Mathew Hayden.
Coming to statistics Robin Uthappa has never played a test match. He has played 46 ODI’s and scored 934 runs at an average of 25.94. He has kept wickets in very few ODI’s and has 15 catches to his credit. As far as Twenty20’s are concerned he has played 13 T20 internationals and scored 249 runs at a batting average of 24.9. These statistics do not include the T20’s he has played in the IPL.
The thing to marvel about is that Robin Uthappa who has been rated as a terrific batsman by none other than Barry Richards who was once considered the best batsman in the world, has been unable to harness his true potential and shine as a great cricketer when playing for his country. Many people might feel I am overestimating him but I really do feel that Robin Uthappa is one of those who could have really shined with the right kind of guidance.
Tags – #BlogchatterAtoZ 2019 #AtoZChallenge 2019