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'Donning national colours is the top priority'

india Updated: Jan 23, 2011 01:41 IST
Shubhodeep Chakravarty

His reputation as an explosive batsman in the shortest format of cricket was not enough for Robin Uthappa to find a place in the India World Cup squad. A cheque of Rs 9.8 crore, one of the highest in the IPL auction, is some solace for the 25-year-old from Coorg who will represent the Pune Warriors.

In a chat with Hindustan Times, Uthappa spoke on how money in IPL is good but can never outshine the glory of donning national colours.

Was it surprising to fetch a price of Rs 9.8 crore in the IPL auction?
I was surprised but it feels good now that it's over. It's always satisfying to know that your worth is acknowledged. It goes on to make you perform beyond your capabilities.

But still you could not get a place in the World Cup squad?
It's not a fair comparison. I have done whatever it takes to prove my abilities. Yes, I have lost a few opportunities in the process as well. My last appearance for the team was in 2008 but to get bogged down is the last thing a cricketer should do. I have faith in myself and I am sure when the time is right, things will fall into place.

Does that mean the prices paid in auctions and players' true worth are not always co-related?
Not really. To compare the IPL with an international 50-over cricket is not fair. Each team has its requirement, whether a franchise or an international team. It's all about fitting the bill and then performing well.

Is there a sense of regret?
Of course, playing for the national team is top priority for any cricketer. This is true even if we compare it to playing for a franchise.

Will shifting to a new franchise make you change the way you approach the game?
A change of teams in IPL is not new for me. As for my approach, a balance between my abilities and the need of the team will need to be struck.

What are your predictions for the World Cup?
India are the favourites but England are the team to watch.