Having had a poor run in the recently concluded India A team's tour of Australia where he failed to make a mark, discarded opener Robin Uthappa is now eyeing the Ranji Trophy to make his case for a berth in the Indian squad for the next year's World Cup squad.
"I am as hopeful just like anyone else would be. I think my chances are as good as anybody. I am looking forward to every upcoming tournaments especially Ranji Trophy to showcase my talent and secure a berth in the Indian World Cup squad," Uthappa told PTI in an interview at the Adidas Training Run event here. Uthappa said he is confident of securing a berth in the World squad considering his excellent show in last couple of years where he scored tons of runs under his belt in domestic one-day cricket.
"I have been highest run-getter in various domestic tournaments in the last two years. I have tremendous faith in my skills and ability to score runs. It will be very interesting and exciting next few months for me," Uthappa said.
Uthappa also had an amazing run in 2014 Indian Premier League, scoring 660 runs, which was the most runs scored by an Indian batsman in a single edition of the tournament.
Asked was he disappointed for not being picked up for the England tour inspite if giving your best in domestic arena, Uthappa said, "Yes I did but I think that's okay though." However, he has the ability to make a comeback with stronger performance, Uthappa said. "I have the ability to make a comeback with strong performance. I can validate my selection by giving my best, which I have been doing for the last two domestic seasons," he added. Uthappa last played for India was in a T20 International against South Africa in Johannesburg in March 2012.
Asked about the chances of Karnataka in this year's Ranji season after being pooled with strong teams, Uthappa said it will be exciting to play with strong teams because it brings the best out of the players. "I think Ranji Trophy will be very exciting because this year there are so many strong teams (Karnataka, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh) in one group. It is good to be pitted against the best. It brings the best out of each team," he said.
Though Karnataka are defending champions, Uthappa said the team would like to improve their performance compared to last year. "We definitely want to improve our performance compared to last year. We as a unit definitely want to improve in certain areas," he said.
Asked about the role of his personal coach Praveen Amre whom he hired in 2012, Uthappa said he is grateful to him for adding massive value into his game and plugging batting loopholes. "I am really grateful for all that he has added into my game. He has added massive value into my game and closed the gap in my technique. I am technically much more well equipped to handle top class bowling," he said. "I am really happy working with him (Amre) and enjoyed his company. I always want to continue working with him as long as I am playing," the Bangalore lad, who has of late moved to Mumbai and rented an apartment in Khar, to find his way back to the Indian team, said.
Talking about the Adidas Training Run event and importance of running in cricket, Uthappa said it is an integral part of the game as players do a lot of running on the field. "I think it (running) sets our basics right. Running plays a huge part because players do a lot of running while batting, bowling and fielding. You need to have solid base of endurance It is a very integral part of our game," he added.