Robin Uthappa, born on November 11, 1985, is an exciting batsman who has shown signs of fulfilling his potential. At a young age, Uthappa was touted for big things, however, his international career went off-track in his early 20s and it took him time to fight back. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks 10 facts you should know about the dashing batsman.
1. Uthappa’s father Venu was an international hockey referee. He is currently president of the Karnataka Hockey Association. Despite his father’s love for hockey, young Uthappa took up cricket and was identified as a prodigy at a young age.
2. When Uthappa was 10, he was afflicted with epilepsy. The treatment to counter that hindered his metabolism rate. As a result, he had his issues with maintaining his weight, which troubled him until his mid-20s. Lately, he has tackled the issue with the help of a nutritionist; he lost 20 kilograms to become slim and very fit.
3. Uthappa made his Ranji Trophy debut for Karnataka at the young age of 17 in 2002. Batting at No 3 against Haryana, he scored a quick 40. A few days before that, he had made his List A debut for Karnataka against Andhra and had scored 61.
4. Uthappa was a part of the India under-19 team that played the ICC under-19 World Cup 2004. His teammates includes Ambati Rayudu (captain), Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Vikram Raj Vir (VRV) Singh and Dinesh Karthik.
5. In 2006, Uthappa gained a place in the Indian team for the One-Day International (ODI) series against England. He made his debut in Indore and smashed 86. This is the highest score by an Indian on ODI debut. Brijesh Patel, the former Karnataka batsman, held the record before Uthappa as he had scored 82 against England in Leeds in 1974.
6. Uthappa made his T20 International debut against Scotland during the ICC World T20 2007. However, that game was washed out without a ball being bowled. In the next game against Pakistan, he hit 50. He is thus one of the few batsmen to hit a fifty in his maiden ODI and T20I innings.
7. To get his career back on track and iron out the flaws in his game, he hired former India batsman Pravin Amre as his personal batting coach. Amre travels around the country when Uthappa plays domestic cricket and tracks his progress.
8. Uthappa was born to a Hindu father and a Christian mother; he and his sister officially converted to Christianity in 2011.
9. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), 2014, Uthappa became the only Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to win the Orange Cap. It was during this tournament that he made 10 scores of over 40, which was a new record in the IPL.
10. In 2013-14, Uthappa’s trophy cabinet was overflowing. With Karnataka, he won the Ranji Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Irani Trophy. He then was part of the winning Kolkota Knight Riders (KKR) winning team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Only Manish Pandey and Vinay Kumar managed the feat as they shared the dressing room with Uthappa in all these matches.
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