The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 14 , 2014
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‘Suggestion’ that made a difference

Bhubaneswar: Three opening combinations in the first five matches meant that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were unsettled at the very top of the order.

That’s when Robin Uthappa made a “suggestion” to the team management — that he be allowed to open, a role he plays “right through the year” outside the IPL.

Coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Gautam Gambhir saw sense in Uthappa’s point of view and promoted him. It has, well, done wonders.

Indeed, in the last four matches, the Uthappa-Gambhir combination has posted partnerships of 17, 121, 106 and 68.

“I was confident of doing a good job, which is why I made the suggestion to the team management. I’m glad they took it on board,” Uthappa told The Telegraph, at the Mayfair Lagoon, on Tuesday afternoon.

Uthappa has himself blossomed at the very top of the order and hasn’t scored fewer than 46 in any of the last four matches.

In fact, with a total of 302, Uthappa is KKR’s leading run-getter. This is his first season with the 2012 champions.

Asked if the players always had one eye on the standings, Uthappa said: “It’s best not to get too caught up with the points table, but to take it one match at a time. That certainly is my approach.”

Good run notwithstanding, Uthappa, who wears the big gloves as well, will be keeping fingers crossed.

Uthappa’s 28 and his last appearance for India in any format (a T20 International) was more than two years ago, but he’s hopeful of making a comeback.