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Anand Subramaniam in Mumbai

Rejuvenated Robin Uthappa eyes CLT20 glory

KKR opening batsman speaks about his game plan ahead of the tournament

There is an air of calmness and aplomb in the way Robin Uthappa speaks and bats. These are two qualities amongst many that defined a renewed Robin who scored runs at will in the previous domestic season and the Indian Premier League. All it took for the Kolkata Knight Riders for the results to go in their favour was a promotion at the top of the order for one of their star Knights. Uthappa was asked to open the innings and what followed over the tenure of the rest of the tournament was nothing short of dramatic. Runs came off Uthappa’s bat and how. Here was Uthappa with a better technique and a clearer mindset with a view to play ‘correct cricket’.

Back after leading India A to a successful quadrangular series in Australia, Robin Uthappa now braces himself for newer challenges ahead. In this CLT20.com exclusive, Kolkata Knight Riders’ opening bat speaks about the tournament that he is excited about and the one silverware his team wants to add in their trophy cabinet.

Excerpts from the interview

What kind of a mind space are you in, with regards to your batting?

I feel like I am in a great space. I feel I have only improved in the way that I have batted. Unfortunately I could not get a lot of runs in Australia during the India A tour. I do know that sometimes a dip in form is a norm when you have had an amazing 8-9 months. It would have been a concern if I was not batting well but the fact that I am batting well makes me feel really good. I am hitting the ball really well. I know it is a matter of time and I am looking forward to the season ahead and pretty excited about it.

What is that one aspect of your game you are currently working on?

This is the time for me to work on my fitness and I get some time off. After this time I won’t be getting any more time off from the game since there would be matches continuously, one tournament after the other. I am using this time to get really fit and strong and have my fitness in place. As far as batting is concerned, I have got my game plans sorted in my head. I am pretty confident about how I want to go about my batting and how I will go about my batting in match situations. I am feeling very positive about the things to come.

Through the IPL you spoke a lot about playing ‘correct cricket’. Is the approach going to be any different this time around?

I just want to improve on what I have done so far. I want to improve on my performances and on that front I can definitely better myself which is what I want to do and looking forward to doing. Besides that, I am happy with the way I am playing my cricket right now. I am very pleased with the way I approach my game and my batting. I feel pretty calm and confident about my skills.

How excited are you to play the Champions League T20?

I am pretty excited to be honest. I am excited that it is happening next month and it is almost like we get to play the IPL twice in a year. It is always a good feeling because you get to compete with the best T20 teams from other parts of the world. I can’t wait to be a part of the KKR unit again. It is a very happy unit, a good bunch with a nice energy within the team and I am looking forward to it.

Personally, have you set a few targets for the tournament?

Not at this point in time. I haven’t sat down to write down my goals as such but surely in the days to come and as the tournament gets closer that will be done as well. As of now I am just making sure that my fitness is in place and I feel really good physically. If you can feel extremely strong and physically fit then that is half the job done. When you have done that, you are giving yourself a good chance to go out there and perform well.

KKR are two time IPL champions and the CLT20 trophy is one thing that the team is devoid of. Has the team chalked down the dos and don’ts for this edition?

I am sure the support staff would have already begun their work and it also depends on how the unit feels within themselves. It took us a couple of years to figure out how to go about being successful as a unit and I think we have figured that out. Now it is just about going out there and sticking to what works for us. I believe if we do that we will have the results to show. Winning the CLT20 trophy is a part of the plan. As a unit we want to win that as well. It is something that everyone in the team is excited about.

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