Was waiting for an opportunity for last 3-4 years: Uthappa

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Mumbai, July 6 (IANS) India wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa said on Monday the Zimbabwe tour call-up was an opportunity he was waiting for the last three-four years, adding he would try to utilise the chance to cement his place in the side.

Middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane will lead a 15-member team for three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20 matches as regular skipper Virat Kohli, among other seniors, were rested for the series. India face the hosts in the first ODI on July 10.

“I am very grateful that finally I will get a whole series to play after playing one or two games in a year. I am looking forward to the tour. This is the opportunity I was waiting for last three to four years. The hard work I have put in has given me positive results now,” Uthappa said here at a press conference.

“I want to make the opportunity I have got. I want to consolidate my place in the squad, as I believe I have a lot to offer for the Indian team.”

Speaking on the aspect of being a wicketkeeper-batsman he said, “It has been quite an enjoyable journey. Initially it was a bit of a trouble, but as time went I fell in love with it. Once I kept wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions League, I thought of taking it as a full time. It came at a perfect time when my batting clicked.”

“I could invest the same time which I did in batting, in the wicket-keeping as well. Today I am enjoying keeping the wickets. It gives us so much of information while you are standing behind the wickets and see what’s going on in the field.”

With the new rules in ODIs coming into play, the 29-year-old said five fielders outside the 30-yard circle wouldn’t matter to him as he would look for runs and try to hit boundaries.

“I don’t think it makes a difference as a batsman as you are looking at the gaps and not at the fielders. But I think from the bowlers perspective it gives them a bit of confidence,” Uthappa concluded.



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