Robin comes in for Gautam

Robin Uthappa, one of the stars (along with Raina and Dhawan) of the 2004 under-19 world cup has been drafted into the ODI side in place of Gautam Gambhir. Robin was very impressive in the Challenger Series late last year where he scored a 78 ball century and that particular innings seems to have catapulted him into the top fringes. Given the indifferent form of Sehwag and Kaif, Robin might get a chance to play in the very next game (I would rather have Rao in place of Kaif).

Gambhir has himself to blame for being left out. He went past 20 in each of his last 4 innings without going onto make a big score. One fifty there and he would have still been a part of this ODI setup. With the countdown having started for the World Cup (and having already lost his test spot to Jaffer), he would have to do something really special to inch his way back into the national team.

Meanwhile, Kaif continues to be part of the team's plans inspite of making just 17 runs in his last eight games. He did make a century in the warm-up game and his team has backed him well in these tough times, but his luck and the good-will might just not last long enough. He is supposed to be one of those guys who goes and apologises personally to every member in the team for letting them down after every personal failure of his. But without enough runs on the board, apologizing might just not cut it anymore.

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Blogger Jaspreet 12:44 PM

It seems kind of hypocritical of the selectors, when they send Ganguly back to the Ranjis to prove his form, but at the same time, a player like Mongia who has been awesome form both with the bat and ball in the Ranji ODI's has been over looked again, which Robin on the other hand hasn't done much in the same tournament and Ranji's overall this year.    

Blogger Pratik 1:15 PM

Where's you get that bit about apologizing to everybody in person?    

Blogger vishnupavan 1:28 PM

Pratik, Nass Hussain mentioned that during the ODI series against Pakistan..    

Blogger Libero 2:11 PM

I haven't seen a lot of Rao, I live in the UK. He always seems to be on the fringes of the team, what sort of batsman is he?    

Blogger vishnupavan 6:26 AM

Jaspreet.. agree that it does look hypocritical on paper.. Robin hasn't done anything great since that century in the Challenger Series while Mongia has been in great form in the domestic limited overs games. But the team management seems to have already identified the core group and is making changes only in the problem areas.. Gambhir has failed as an opener and Robin is a like to like replacement. Ganguly did himself no good with those abysmal performances in the domestics. Mongia's name would probably be discussed if the team management were seeking a replacement for Kaif (middle order berth). (yes.. Mongia has opened before, but doesn't anymore)..    

Blogger vishnupavan 6:31 AM

libero, Rao started off as a test prospect.. technically correct with the temperament to play long innings (evident from the double ton he scored in the final innings against England A a few years ago).. he came into the Indian side after a string of good performances in the domestic circuit.. and he seems to have added a lot of aggression to his game only after donning the Indian colors.. He has all the shots and can do whatever that kaif does with the bat.. He is not destructive like Dhoni or Yuvraj, but he sure can whack the ball hard into the stands if the situation demands..    

Blogger Pranshu Sharma 12:55 AM

Uthappa is lucky 2 make the cut. He isnt in good touch right now. Hopefully his selection will inspire him 2 make a gr8 debut. Gambhir's axing was unfair. So what if he couldnt get past the 20's? He made many more runs than Kaif! Common guys atleast give Venu a break!    

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