Long Tail Only Worry For India: Uthappa

Former India batter feels team needs to bat deeper in T20

Robin Uthappa

Robin Uthappa feels Indian T20 cricket has a problem of plenty in terms of talent. However, a slightly long tail in the batting order is a minor worry.

“They do have an issue to address in the lower-middle order  because after No 7 we have a very long tail. That seems to be an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Outside that, our spin bowlers are world-class,” said Uthappa, who played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is, in an interview with PTI.

In nearly every other aspect, the Hardik Pandya-led India were looking good with a year to go for the T20 World Cup. 

“We do have a problem of plenty. There are enough people to represent the country, the quality is really high. Sometimes when you have high quality players you can have a headache, which a lot of other countries do not have,” Uthappa said.

“It is (about) how we decide to navigate through it, as a team management and what is the approach the team’s leadership group has, will be critical to India’s success in the coming years in shortest format. 

"Do they want to back the youth? Do they want a combination (of young and senior players)? They need to figure out which way they are going to go” he added.

The current West Indies tour, Uthappa said, would be a learning experience for the players as conditions in the Caribbean are tricky.    

“For a lot of these young boys, this tour to the West Indies, they do not know the conditions well because they have had a very little exposure to those conditions. A little patience needs to be exercised, so that they understand how each wicket on each island plays,” Uthappa said.

The BCCI has been thinking about a cooling-off period which would stop players from joining overseas leagues right after their retirement. Uthappa, who retired from international and IPL cricket last year, felt that would be "uncomfortable and unfair" on the players.    

“I think it is human nature to feel uncomfortable about it. We do not have any central contract with the BCCI, we are not playing cricket in India anymore so it certainly does make you feel a little uncomfortable and unfair for sure,” said Uthappa, who recently played the T10 league in Zimbabwe and also the ILT20 in the UAE.

“Having said that, the BCCI has certainly looked after all of us. I am certain whatever decision they take will be in the best interest of the BCCI and the players who are going to play in the IPL. There are certain solutions that can be reached. If there is a possibility of communication, we could reach a solution that suits everybody,” said Uthappa.