'That's the only way I play cricket'
"I am an instinctive player. When I feel like going for a shot, I back myself to do it." The moment you hear these words, you are reminded of Virender Sehwag, the hotshot India opener.cricket Updated: Oct 13, 2011 00:02 IST
"I am an instinctive player. When I feel like going for a shot, I back myself to do it." The moment you hear these words, you are reminded of Virender Sehwag, the hotshot India opener.
On Tuesday night, it wasn't the Delhi Dazzler speaking the "instinctive truth". It was Robin Uthappa, the Karnataka batsman who has been trying to regain his place in the national squad he lost over three years back.
When he spoke about his instinctive trait, it was in response to a query regarding his atrocious shot-selection against India Red in the Challenger Series, which resulted in his throwing away a splendid start for the umpteenth time.
But the Indian Green opener soon realised he needs to do more than score an aggressive fifty to attract the selectors' attention. "Need to focus a little more and not give it away," he told HT.
On Wednesday, the Bangalorean turned out in his best avatar, keeping faith in his aggressive style of batting. The whirlwind 132 off just 103 balls against India Blue in a virtual semifinal not only set up his team's victory but also made the selectors realise that he was not a spent force.
An on-song Uthappa is a treat for any cricket lover - the burly batsman is one of the most fluent exponents of straight drive on the domestic circuit. And, he played his favourite stroke at will.
It didn't matter whether the bowler was Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha or Amit Mishra, he kept hitting them straight till he retired at the end of the 23rd over after raising his bat for a memorable century, his third in the Challenger Series.
On Tuesday, when HT had asked him whether it was difficult to curb his instinct in an important tournament like the Challenger Series, he had said, "I have played cricket only one way all my life. It's better for me to continue playing the way I have been playing. If I play like (Rahul) Dravid or (S) Badrinath, I won't be very successful."
At that point, it appeared as if the 25-year-old was overconfident about his abilities. Wednesday's knock put the confusion to rest.
First Published: Oct 12, 2011 23:59 IST