A changed man, Robin prepares for a long haul
Earlier the opener was a dreamer, hoping to play regularly for India, writes G Krishnan.india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 23:39 IST
Robin Uthappa says he has learnt from his mistakes.
Before his first brief stint in international cricket that lasted three ODIs last year, the 21-year-old opener from Karnataka was a dreamer, hoping to play regularly for India.
Now, with help and advice from experienced players, Uthappa has changed his approach — he is now focussing on the process rather than the result.
“One’s selection is a byproduct of a person doing well,” Uthappa, who scored a 109-ball 108 here on Wednesday, told HT. “If you’re doing well and performing, you go to the next level. I believe in my ability... In the past, I’ve made the mistake of thinking too far into the future. Now I take it just one day at a time.”
Uthappa has also changed his approach to batting. Known for scoring at a fast pace, Uthappa has realised the importance of staying long in the middle. He was rewarded with 831 runs in seven Ranji matches this season, including four centuries, and one more in the Duleep Trophy.
“I spoke to (VVS) Laxman and he underlined the fact that if I spent time at the crease, I would get runs,” he said. “I understood that if I have to play big-league cricket, I need to make big runs, and for that I would have to spend time at the crease. I didn’t change the way I batted, it was more about shot selection. I’ve also worked on my defence.”
Advice from Australia’s Justin Langer during his visit to Bangalore last August has also helped.
“I spoke to Justin about building an innings and decided I had to break the innings into smaller goals,” he said. “Justin gave me some tips about preparing for an innings, how to plan towards lunch and then on.”
Uthappa is keen to grab the opportunity with both hands. “Being a part of the Indian team for a few months, even if I only played three games, was very good. The experience on the field was exhilarating, and I learned quite a bit even off the field.”