Usually the goings-on at the Karnail Singh Stadium are sedate. But over the past week, the Mumbai and Karnataka games have managed to create bustle.
Last week, Sachin Tendulkar was expected to drop by to check Mumbai’s progress. The cops got in place but he didn’t turn up.
On Thursday, Rahul Dravid witnessed Robin Uthappa’s blazing century in the first session itself. Dravid sat with his former captain, and current Karnataka coach, K Jeswanth while watching Uthappa’s blitzkrieg against Railways. The two have grinded out many long partnerships for Karnataka, so this power-packed innings left them amused. The ease with which Uthappa smashed the bowlers on a difficult wicket gave Karnataka the impetus. They got to 140-odd in the pre-lunch session and had a chance to build a big total.
Eventually, they failed to press on and finished at 284/7 on Day One.
“It is my natural style,” said Uthappa, when asked whether the slam-bang approach wasn't temerity. “That’s the pace I like to play at.”
He lost his India spot due to this impetuosity, but he prefers it this way.
Jeswanth said, “We have given him the license to play like this. This is his natural style."
But beneath that recklessness is common sense. “The pitch was hard in the middle. However, four yards from the stumps, it had cracks for spinners.”
He’d made a 28-ball 91 against Andhra, a 20-ball 65 against Hyderabad and a quick 45 against TN in South Zone T20 games recently to earn a place in India T20 team.
But he failed on one count. Fitness. He retired due to cramps after the first session.
Karnataka 284/7 (Uthappa 117, Murali Kartik 5/76)