‘Every third game, I was moved around to a new position’ – Robin Uthappa feels he missed out on a long career due to frequently changing positions
If I had played at one position for 49 games, then I would have played for 149 games or 249 games for India because I was that good, Uthappa said.
Updated - May 20, 2021 8:01 pm
In 2006, India was playing England in the final ODI of the seven-match series in Indore. Battered and bruised throughout the series, the English team had set a total of 288 to chase for the hosts. To open the innings with captain Rahul Dravid walked in a young opening batsman from Karnataka, Robin Uthappa. He was 20 years old at the time and smashed 86 runs from 96 balls, which was then the highest score on an ODI debut by an Indian.
Uthappa was destined to have a long career but struggled to find opportunities on a regular basis, eventually falling away from the limelight of the Indian team. However, he went on to have a great career in the Indian Premier League. During a recent interaction, Uthappa pointed out what could have been a reason for him not having a long career for India in limited-overs cricket.
Uthappa played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is for India between 2006 and 2015. However, there was never a fixed position at which he played. Despite being given an opportunity to open the batting at such a young age, Uthappa was continuously moved around in the batting line-up. He batted 16 innings at the opening slot, seven at no. 3, five at no. 5, six at no. 6, and eight at no. 7. Uthappa said he could have played more games for India, had he batted at one place for a longer course of time.
I did that at the time because it helped the team: Robin Uthappa on taking up different roles
“That has happened to me throughout my international career. If you go and look at my stats, you will see I have not played in more than one batting position for more than three innings. Every third game, I was moved around to a new position. If I had played at one position for 49 games, then I would have played for 149 games or 249 games for India because I was that good,” Robin Uthappa said during an interview posted on The Grade Cricketer’s YouTube channel.
He further added, “I did that at the time because it helped the team, but in turn, it affected my career stats,” reflecting on his international career, which had some fond memories as well. The right-handed batsman, who now plays for Kerala and Chennai Super Kings, was part of the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup triumph and also the Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series win in Australia in 2008.