‘Keeping has made me a better batsman’

Uthappa and Gambhir have two century-plus stands in the last five innings.

By: Press Trust of India | Kolkata | Published: May 22, 2014 1:39:25 am

Kolkata’s in-form bastman Robin Uthappa says he is relishing his new role as an opener alongside skipper Gautam Gambhir and feels “confidence and understanding” is the mantra behind the duo’s success in the ongoing IPL 7.

“The confidence is good for both of us. Gautam and I understand each other very well. We play to our plan and we complement each other well. We run very well in between the wickets. We egg each other on. We don’t really think about pressure. We just think of going out there and doing our job,” said Uthappa.

Uthappa and Gambhir have two century-plus stands in the last five innings. Talking about his new found consistency, the 28-year-old batsman said his focus this season was to play proper cricketing shots without taking any undue risks in the initial overs.

“If I can hold good shapes and get behind the line of the ball and just look to put into gaps, I will have great chances of putting the team on course for a good score. The important thing is to get the team to a good start in T20 format,” he said.

Playing late

Asked what he meant by “holding good shapes”, Uthappa said: “In T20 cricket as you want to hit the ball really hard, you tend to grab your right hand a bit, you tend to square up a little bit. I want to make sure that I stay side on as much as possible and play a little late. That’s the intent. If I can go out there and try doing that 10 times, I feel I can find the gaps at least seven times.”

Uthappa feels the more he is keeping wickets the better he is becoming as a batsman. “I get better as I keep more. It helps my hand-eye co-ordination a great deal. Which reflects in my batting. I’m glad I’m keeping very well. The important thing is that I’m reading Sunil (Narine) very well. I’m happy about it,” he concluded.

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