Sunday, January 28, 2007

Robin Uthappa, the bomb from Bangalore!

By John Cheeran
Is there any gain for India from the Chennai one-dayer against the West Indies?
Yes, India lost the third one-dayer to the West Indies by three wickets.
It again brought forth India’s lack of batting backbone that resulted in the side not playing out the 50 overs in perfect batting conditions at Chepauk.
But more than the rusty batting of Yuvraj Singh and failure of Dinesh Karthik to repeat his quick scoring, skipper Rahul Dravid should be delighted on one count, the provocative batting produced by the 21-year-old Robin Uthappa from Bangalore.
It is a pity that India could not convert the shock and awe start given by Uthappa to blow away Brian Lara and his boys.
Uthappa’s 41-ball 70 against the West Indian bowlers has tweaked the edges of the aggressive batting in the opening overs. Virender Sehwag has got some competition for the time being.
Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar owe an apology to Indian fans for his crime in not including Uthappa for the South African tour. If Uthappa is not talent enough who else is?
Vengsarkar, who included Mumbai’s Wasim Jaffer for the South African one-dayers ignoring Uthappa, has no choice now but to scribble the Bangalore boy’s name for the World Cup 15.
It is important that Uthappa gets more chances in the remaining pre-World Cup games against the West Indies and Sri Lanka. It would be foolish to expect Uthappa to strike gold every time he goes out to bat, a largess India had given in the past for Sehwag.
Such things happen rarely in cricket, or to be much more truthful, in Indian cricket. But the violence that this boy can unleash on a cricket ball should give skipper Dravid some leeway to pause and plan India’s World Cup adventure.

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