After the highs of winning the orange cap in 2014 came two seasons of struggle for Robin Uthappa in 2015 and 2016. This also saw Kolkata Knight Riders starting to try other batsmen at the top with skipper Gautam Gambhir as the two failed to give the team a quickfire start in the powerplays. But Uthappa has adapted beautifully and hit 68 off 39 balls to build the platform for KKR’s win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
With scores of 4 and 26 against Mumbai Indians and KXIP, Uthappa hadn’t really set the stands on fire, but on stood up and got counted on Saturday when the team needed him most after skipper Gambhir was dismissed cheaply for 15.
Coming in to bat at the fall of Sunil Narine’s wicket with the score on 10/1, he first stitched a partnership of 30 off 20 balls with Gambhir before putting on 77 for the third wicket with Manish Pandey as the two ensured that the KKR bowlers had enough runs on the board to defend.
Uthappa did get a couple of lives. The first one was off the very first delivery he faced when he edged Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Naman Ojha behind the wicket, but the umpire did not raise the finger.
The second one came when he was batting on 47 with Shikhar Dhawan failing to catch the ball at the mid-wicket fence off Rashid Khan.
But like Uthappa said at the end of the game, he has had to undergo some changes and things are finally working for him. “Finally, after years of hard work I've settled in the new technique. I had an overhaul a few years ago and I'm feeling like my old self to go after the bowlers and have faith in myself. I like it at No. 3 because the team needs me there. I like the fact that I have responsibility on my shoulders,” he said.