Dravid, Collingwood hail Uthappa
The rival skippers praise youngster Robin Uthappa and admit that it was his knock that took the match away from England.Updated: Sep 06, 2007, 20:56 IST
Robin Uthappa may not be a permanent fixture in the Indian team's batting order but thanks to his match-winning knock in the sixth ODI on Wednesday, he at least has won a couple of admirers in rival captains Rahul Dravid and Paul Collingwood.
Uthappa played a blinder under pressure, walking in when India needed 83 runs off 58 balls and went on to hit two boundaries off the last over to snatch a sensational win for India to level the series 3-3.
Naturally, Dravid was all praise for the youngster.
"We were struggling but Robin finished it off for us. Any time you chase 300-plus is always going to be a test but the young boy set up a brilliant victory for us," he said.
Uthappa was unbeaten after a 33-ball blitzkrieg of 47 and showed nerves of steel even after the exit of India's last recognised batsmen, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Dravid said Uthappa deserved the credit more because he was playing in an unfamiliar position.
"I've never seen Robin bat at seven before. He's got a good cricketing brain. He's improving all the time and working very hard in nets. Watching him he's begging to be picked."
"Credit to him because he might not have batted at No. 7 in his life, but here he managed to control the chase."
Collingwood echoed Dravid's view on the player, who has earned his stripe as a hard-hitting opener, and admitted it was Uthappa's knock that took the match away from England.
"He played well in the pressure situation. He stayed calm and it's good for India. He seems a cool customer, knew his areas to score, and had a little bit of luck along the way," Collingwood said.