Robin Uthappa is another Indian most unlucky cricketer despite having all the ability to play long in the top level. A hard-hitting batter who can play any shot in the book. He isn’t scared to hit the ball in the air. Robin Uthappa has always been exciting to watch. Uthappa, a well-built Karnataka kid, first came to light thanks to a strong performance for India-B in the 2005 Challenger Series. In 2006, he also performed well in the Challenger Series. All of this happened when the national selectors were in search of some new blood, and Uthappa was picked into the India One-Day International squad to play England at home.
The Tragic hero of Indian cricket
Robin Uthappa was born in Kodagu, Karnataka, on November 11, 1985. At the age of ten, Robin was diagnosed with epilepsy (a neurological ailment). Because of that, it was difficult for him to maintain a healthy weight. Venn Uthappa, the father of Robin, was an international Hockey umpire who later served as the head of the Karnataka Hockey Association. Robin took up cricket as a result of his father’s influence.
For Team India
Like Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa was part of the 2004 ICC U19 cricket world cup.
In April 2006, Uthappa made his One Day International debut in the seventh and final match of England’s tour of India. He made a promising start as an opening batsman. He scored 86 runs before being run out. In limited-overs cricket, it was the highest score by any Indian debutante.
In January 2007, he was again selected for the ODI squad for the series against the West Indies.
In the first two games, he did not appear. In the third game, he scored a blazing 70, followed by a quick 28 in the fourth.
In March-April 2007, Uthappa was selected for the Cricket World Cup. That world cup was played in West Indies.
He played all three group matches. But he scored only 30 runs. Also, India was not able to qualify for the super eight stages.
After that World Cup tragedy, he was selected for the England tour. He hit 47 off 33 balls to lead India to a stunning victory in the sixth ODI of the NatWest Series 2007–2008. That win kept India’s hopes alive in the seven-match series, in which they were down 2–3 before the match.
He was used to batting as an opener. But in this match, he batted at number seven. It was a new position for him. When Uthappa came to bat, India had been reduced to 5 for 234 in 40.2 overs, and 83 runs were required in less than ten overs. Dhoni was dismissed in the 47th over with India’s score at 294. But Uthappa maintained his composure to guide India to victory with two balls to spare.
After the Asia Cup in 2008, his form declined. Uthappa scored only 179 runs in 11 ODI innings. So, he was dropped from the team. And with the emergence of Virat Kohli, Uthappa was overlooked by the selectors.
But after the good domestic session in 2013-14, Uthappa again came into the picture in the national selectors. After six years, in 2014, Robin Uthappa was included in the Bangladesh tour. He scored a fifty in a rain-affected match. Also, Robin was included in India’s 30-man team for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. In 2015, Robin Uthappa was part of the Indian team that toured Zimbabwe.
He played his last ODI for India on June 14, 2015, against Zimbabwe.
Uthappa played a total of 46 ODI and scored 934 runs.
In 2007, Uthappa was a member of the Indian team that won the World T20. He scored 113 runs in seven matches, with the best score of 50 and a strike rate of above 113. In a T20 international match against Pakistan in 2007, Uthappa became the first Indian player to score a half-century. In T20 cricket, he also owns the world record for ten consecutive 40+ scores. Uthappa played his last T20 for India on July 19, 2015, against Zimbabwe.
He played 13 T20I and scored 249 runs.
When it comes to the Indian Premier League, Robin Uthappa has always been a “hot” player. Because of his performance in T20 World Cup in 2007, The Mumbai Indians paid him $800,000. He made a good start to his IPL career. He scored 48 runs off 38 balls in his first encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He scored 43 (36), including six fours and a six, in the next game against Chennai Super Kings. He and Dwayne Bravo put up an undefeated 123-run partnership against Kolkata Knight Riders.
In January 2009, he was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Zaheer Khan. For the Royal Challengers, he had a poor IPL season in 2009.
In the 2011 Indian Premier League auction, he was obtained by Pune Warriors for a record fee of US$2.1 million (roughly INR 9.4 crores). He was the second most expensive player in the auction, behind Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir signed Kolkata Knight Riders for US$2.4 million.
Even though Pune Warriors India’s IPL 5 performance was a disaster, Robin remained their leading scorer with 405 runs from 16 games. Kolkata Knight Riders picked him for the IPL’s seventh season. He did not do well in the first leg of the event, which was played in the UAE.
After that, he was moved to the opening slot alongside Gautam Gambhir, and he had a strong showing in the India portion of the season. He was awarded the Orange Cap for scoring the most runs in that season (660). This consistency was instrumental in KKR winning the title for the second season.
Rajasthan Royals bought Uthappa for three crores (US$420,000) for the 2020 IPL season. During the season, he appeared in 12 games and scored 196 runs. His average was 16.33, with the highest score of 41.
He was purchased to Chennai Super Kings in January 2021, ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League season.
Robin Uthappa made his Ranji Trophy debut for Karnataka in 2002/03. But he came to the limelight in 2006. He scored 857 runs in seven games during the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy season. That performance opens the door of Team India for him.
In domestic cricket, Uthappa had a couple of average years. However, he had a fantastic domestic season in 2013-14, when Karnataka won the Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, and Vijay Hazare Trophy, completing a rare treble.
After a conflict with his state board, Uthappa left Karnataka and was signed by Saurashtra for the 2017-18 Indian domestic season.
Uthappa shifted from Saurashtra to Kerala in June 2019, ahead of the 2019–20 Ranji Trophy season.
In March 2016, he married his longtime girlfriend Sheethal Goutham.
India, India U19, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Karnataka, Pune Warriors, India Green, India A, South Zone, Board Presidents XI, East Zone, India Red, Kolkata Knight Riders, Bijapur Bulls, Saurashtra, Bengaluru Blasters, Kerala, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings.