Robin Uthappa’s IPL career has run parallel to that of the tournament itself and is one of the most successful batsmen in cricket’s most glamorous league.
With 4411 runs (strike rate 130.5, average 28.83) over the past 12 editions – only seven men have managed more – with four different teams — Mumbai Indians, Royals Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors and Kolkata Knight Riders — the 34-year-old has now joined Rajasthan Royals. He spoke to Sportstar from Dubai.
On playing for Rajasthan Royals
I am absolutely thrilled. It has always been a franchise embodying the fighting spirit and one that doesn’t give up regardless of the game situation.
On the team’s strengths
We are a good, balanced side with a mix of experienced players, both Indian and foreign. Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat and I have all been around for a while now, we have top foreigners such as Steve Smith, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, who have all been successful on the biggest stage. Add to that some wonderfully talented youngsters and I think we have covered pretty much all our bases.
Robin Uthappa during a training session of Rajasthan Royals in February. – PTI Photo
On the IPL’s challenges in the UAE
The heat will certainly be a big challenge. Certain pitches would be similar to the ones back home but it is a long tournament and there will be changes as we go along.
On his IPL journey
It has been a fantastic experience. The dynamics of the tournament have changed over the years and so have I. My game has evolved through different phases in these twelve years, which have all contributed to my performances. As a batsman, I have always wanted to be positive in my approach and contribute in a manner that sets the right tone for my team. My roles in teams have varied — I have been at the top, in the middle order and have also finished games, so I have had to adapt.
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