The talented Karnataka cricketer Robin Venu Uthappa had been a tremendous discovery for Indian cricket. Who can forget his debut ODI innings against England in 2006 when he smashed 86 runs. Uthappa also created a record of scoring most runs on debut for Indian cricket. His achievement stayed rock solid until KL Rahul, another Karnataka boy, scored 100 on his debut against Zimbabwe in 2016.
Despite being a flashy start, unfortunately, Uthappa was never able to stabilize his position in the Indian team. Although, his run in the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) had been excellent. In 177 games, the right-handed batsman has accumulated 4411 runs – eight highest in the cash-rich league.
From Rahul Dravid to MS Dhoni, Uthappa has played under some notable captains in his cricketing career; however, when it comes to choosing the best, the Kodagu-born picked Gautam Gambhir, his skipper at IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), as the best captain he has played under.
“Gauti, for me, stood out. Even though he doesn’t speak much, he communicates just what is enough, and you know that you’re in a good place. Good leaders make you feel secure, then they let you be, and you see that in their results as a captain,” Uthappa told ESPNCricinfo.
Uthappa has played six seasons under Gambhir’s captaincy in KKR. He played a significant role in KKR lifting the trophy for the first time in 2012 when the franchise first bought him. Uthappa then won another IPL for KKR in 2014. However, his performance under Dinesh Karthik’s captaincy went abysmal and was released by the franchise ahead of the 2020 auction.
For the 13th edition of the lucrative league, Rajasthan Royals bought the IPL veteran for INR 3 Crores. When asked about his new IPL franchise, Uthappa expressed his excitement and said he is looking forward to meeting the foreign players, especially the genius Australian Steve Smith.
“I am genuinely looking forward to meeting and spending time with Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Oshane Thomas, Tom Curran and others because it’s only when guys come together, and set the common goal of wanting to win, and that desire is vehemently expressed, you know that it is going to come through”, the wicket-keeper batsman added.