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Hoshedar N. Gundevia in Pune 04 May 2012 - 11:46am IST

Need an all-round show: Uthappa

PWI wicketkeeper-batsman believes in playoffs dream

After the initial high of mingling with the IPL elite with early wins, the Pune Warriors India find themselves struggling to maintain their peak form. Four successive losses have seen Sourav Ganguly’s side fall to the eighth spot on the IPL table. Stuck in a slump, PWI will require extraordinary performances to book their place in the all-important IPL Playoffs.

Robin Uthappa has shown glimpses of his talent in IPL 2012. Some consistent performances at the top of the order have even propelled the 26-year-old to the seventh spot on the season’s highest run-getters’ list. Despite the right-hander’s contribution, the Warriors have struggled either with the bat or the ball to find themselves near the bottom of the table. But Uthappa is hopeful of a comeback. The desire to make the final four still burns bright in the PWI squad and with the addition of Michael Clarke, Uthappa believes the job can be done.

Excerpts
from a brief chat with Robin Uthappa.


Do you feel you let this one go from your grip?


It’s so hard to say when you lose by one run. There are so many ifs and buts when you lose by one run, like we could have run one run harder or shouldn’t have given a wide or boundary, etc. It has happened with us quite a few times with us this season but this is cricket.

You must have backed yourself at the halfway stage to get to the target.

We were batting so well and we knew we had a chance. The wicket was a little difficult to bat on as the ball was keeping low and gripping. We thought if we went down to the wire we would give ourselves the best chance and we did go down to the wire but unfortunately couldn’t pull this off.

How is the team dealing with this drop in form?

I think it has been that kind of season for us but we still have five games to go. We are a very strong side and we have been doing really well. We are not a side that has been dominated; we have lost a lot of close games. We came out pretty hard today and bowled really well but we have to get our batting and bowling going at the same time. All of us are working really hard and all of us want to win really badly. Hopefully we can do it in the next five games.

Playoffs very much on the agenda?


I think it’s wide open. If we win games four of our remaining games, we will make it there.

What does Sourav Ganguly bring to the table apart from his cricketing ability?


He brings in a lot of experience and a lot of ideas. Someone who can give us a good piece of advice as far as cricket is concerned. He speaks so well about the game because he has a lot of knowledge. He has been one of the best captains the country has produced and has scored more than eleven-and-a-half thousand international runs. There is so much to learn from that guy.

One element in your game that you would like to improve on?

I would want to improve my keeping skills. I have been doing this part-time keeping job for quite some time now and I would definitely want to change that.

How does Michael Clarke fit into the squad?


It’s good to have someone fresh in the side and he brings in a lot of positivity. He captains the Australian Test side and has been doing well for himself so he brings in a lot of positive vibes. He has been motivating the boys also.

Can PWI make the playoffs?


We still haven’t lost anything. There are five games to go and we will take it one game at a time.

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