Meet KKR’s ‘Robin’hood at number 3

Knight Riders, here is a bit of trivia you:

 

Who is the only KKR batsman to have managed ten consecutive 40+ scores in IPL?

Who is the only player in IPL history to have won the Orange Cap from the team that won the trophy?

 

Apart from Gautam Gambhir, which other KKR batsman features in the list of top ten run-getters in IPL history?

 

No prizes for guessing Robin Uthappa as the answer to all these questions.

 

With 3564 runs from 141 games, Uthappa has been one of the most prolific performers in IPL history. During his first season with KKR in 2014, he scored a staggering 660 runs, a feat that was special for more than one reason. After all those runs enabled him to win the Orange Cap, the only instance of a player doing so from a team that also won the trophy in the same year. Having begun the tournament in the middle order, Uthappa was promoted to open the batting after some persistence with the team-management. Since then, ‘Robbie’ has carved a niche for himself at the top, forming one of the most destructive opening pairs in T20 format with Gautam Gambhir.

However, it’s been a different story in IPL 2017. Despite his phenomenal success, Uthappa has been batting at number three to accommodate the team’s plans of opening with a pinch hitter like Sunil Narine. The idea is paying rich dividends for KKR, as our Knights have managed the highest run-rate amongst all teams, in the powerplay overs so far.

 

Uthappa has done brilliantly at his new, adopted position, tallying 174 runs from 6 games, a list that comprises of two half-centuries against Sunrisers Hyderabad (68 in 39 balls) and Gujarat Lions (72 in 48 balls) at Eden Gardens. More importantly, with a strike-rate of 161.11, he has ensured that the high scoring rate and impetus given by the openers is maintained in the middle overs (7-15).

 

“I am feeling very good (out in the middle). I just want to go out there and express myself in the middle. I am not thinking about anything else right now,” said Uthappa during a recent conversation with www.kkr.in.

 

While the format demands brisk scoring at all times, the 31-year-old is well aware that, it cannot always be one-way traffic at his new batting position.

 

“The team requires me to bat at number 3 and I've taken that challenge and I am willing to do it for the team. It is a very important position because if you lose a wicket we need someone who is really experienced and can handle the pressure and makes sure you don’t lose another wicket,” mentioned Robbie after his match-winning innings against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 15 April, 2017.

 

Having won 2 out of the 3 games so far at Eden Gardens, KKR will be keen to keep up their proud record of maximum victories (35 out of 54) for any team at a single venue in IPL. While the nature of the wicket this season has changed to a more bouncy surface from a turning one, Uthappa is confident that the team is good enough to adapt to this sporting surface.

 

“I would like to congratulate the curator and grounds man for doing a phenomenal job to produce the wickets that they have produced for the team right now and would like to thank them of the team's behalf. I didn’t expect the wicket to change so much in such little time since we had played here couple of months ago, and to see the wicket in the way it is right now, we are really happy,” concluded Uthappa after the team beat Sunrisers Hyderabad on 15 April, 2017.

 Knight Riders, here is a bit of trivia you:

 

Who is the only KKR batsman to have managed ten consecutive 40+ scores in IPL?

Who is the only player in IPL history to have won the Orange Cap from the team that won the trophy?

 

Apart from Gautam Gambhir, which other KKR batsman features in the list of top ten run-getters in IPL history?

 

No prizes for guessing Robin Uthappa as the answer to all these questions.

 

With 3564 runs from 141 games, Uthappa has been one of the most prolific performers in IPL history. During his first season with KKR in 2014, he scored a staggering 660 runs, a feat that was special for more than one reason. After all those runs enabled him to win the Orange Cap, the only instance of a player doing so from a team that also won the trophy in the same year. Having begun the tournament in the middle order, Uthappa was promoted to open the batting after some persistence with the team-management. Since then, ‘Robbie’ has carved a niche for himself at the top, forming one of the most destructive opening pairs in T20 format with Gautam Gambhir.

However, it’s been a different story in IPL 2017. Despite his phenomenal success, Uthappa has been batting at number three to accommodate the team’s plans of opening with a pinch hitter like Sunil Narine. The idea is paying rich dividends for KKR, as our Knights have managed the highest run-rate amongst all teams, in the powerplay overs so far.

 

Uthappa has done brilliantly at his new, adopted position, tallying 174 runs from 6 games, a list that comprises of two half-centuries against Sunrisers Hyderabad (68 in 39 balls) and Gujarat Lions (72 in 48 balls) at Eden Gardens. More importantly, with a strike-rate of 161.11, he has ensured that the high scoring rate and impetus given by the openers is maintained in the middle overs (7-15).

 

“I am feeling very good (out in the middle). I just want to go out there and express myself in the middle. I am not thinking about anything else right now,” said Uthappa during a recent conversation with www.kkr.in.

 

While the format demands brisk scoring at all times, the 31-year-old is well aware that, it cannot always be one-way traffic at his new batting position.

 

“The team requires me to bat at number 3 and I've taken that challenge and I am willing to do it for the team. It is a very important position because if you lose a wicket we need someone who is really experienced and can handle the pressure and makes sure you don’t lose another wicket,” mentioned Robbie after his match-winning innings against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 15 April, 2017.

 

Having won 2 out of the 3 games so far at Eden Gardens, KKR will be keen to keep up their proud record of maximum victories (35 out of 54) for any team at a single venue in IPL. While the nature of the wicket this season has changed to a more bouncy surface from a turning one, Uthappa is confident that the team is good enough to adapt to this sporting surface.

 

“I would like to congratulate the curator and grounds man for doing a phenomenal job to produce the wickets that they have produced for the team right now and would like to thank them of the team's behalf. I didn’t expect the wicket to change so much in such little time since we had played here couple of months ago, and to see the wicket in the way it is right now, we are really happy,” concluded Uthappa after the team beat Sunrisers Hyderabad on 15 April, 2017.

 

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