x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Uthappa's signal to selectors

The RCB batsman shows his omission from the provisional list of 30 for the World Twenty20 was a mistake after a good run with the bat in IPL.

Uthappa's 38-ball blitzkrieg, worth 68 runs, helped the home side recover from a quiet start to post 171 for five.
Uthappa's 38-ball blitzkrieg, worth 68 runs, helped the home side recover from a quiet start to post 171 for five.

When the India selectors sit down on Friday to pick their final 15 for the World Twenty20, they will probably rue their folly of excluding Robin Uthappa from the provisional list of 30. There has been plenty of debate about Irfan Pathan's omission, but the kind of form Uthappa has been in this IPL, his exclusion would be lunacy. The Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman, who smashed a 21-ball 51 earlier in the tournament, mocked the selectors with another fearsome assault on the Chennai Super Kings last night that helped the Royal Challengers win their fourth game on the trot.

Uthappa's 38-ball blitzkrieg, worth 68 runs, helped the home side recover from a quiet start to post 171 for five, and the Super Kings fell short by 36 runs. The Challengers have relied heavily on Jacques Kallis for their starts, but the South Africa star fell early yesterday, dismissed for the first time in the IPL this season. Lakshmipathy Balaji was the successful bowler, disturbing Kallis's furniture as the batsman moved across to whip him over the leg-side field.

Kallis's unbeaten run came to an end in the fifth game, after 283 runs, which is close to a 100 more than IPL III's second-highest run-scorer, Virender Sehwag. That, however, was Balaji's only success of the game and he really suffered at the hands of Uthappa, who smashed him for a four and three sixes in the 24-run 19th over. Uthappa scored 41 runs from the final 12 balls he faced and his blitz added 67 from the last five overs for the Challengers. There was a not a single maximum in the first 15 overs and there were eight from the last five, with Uthappa accounting for six of those. Can India really afford to leave such a batsman at home when they leave for the Caribbean? @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Manish Pandey c Raina b Muralitharan 20 Jacques Kallis b Balaji 19 Rahul Dravid b Muralitharan 14 Robin Uthappa not out 68 Virat Kohli st Patel b Muralitharan 24 Eoin Morgan b Morkel 1 Mark Boucher not out 11 Extras (10 lb, 3w, 1nb) 14 Total (for 5 wickets, 20 overs) 171 Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-59, 3-63, 4-110, 5-119 Bowling: Albie Morkel 4-0-28-1 Sudip Tyagi 4-0-19-0(1w) L Balaji 4-0-49-1 (1nb, 1w) M Muralitharan 14-0-25-3 (1w) R Ashwin 4-0-40-0 Chennai Super Kings: Parthiv Patel c Boucher b Kumar 1 Mathew Hayden run out (Dravid) 32 G Bailey c Boucher b Vinay Kumar 18 Suresh Raina c Kallis b Vinay Kumar 9 Murali Vijay c Morgan b Kumble 3 S Badrinath c Apanna (sub) b Vinay Kumar 31 Albie Morkel b Vinay Kumar 19 R Ashwin not out 11 L Balaji not out 0 Extras (5lb, 6w) 11 Total (for 7 wickets, 20 overs) 135 Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-57, 3-59, 4-71, 5-74, 6-107, 7-135 Bowling: Praveen Kumar 4-0-21-1 (2w) Dale Steyn 4-0-25-0 (3w) Anil Kumble 4-0-15-1 Jacques Kallis 4-0-29-0 R Vinay Kumar 4-0-40-4 (1w)