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Former Kolkata Knight Riders batting coach WV Raman recalled the 2014 edition of the Indian Premier League where the Kolkata-based franchise emerged as the champions. KKR had a slow start to that season as they struggled to perform well in the UAE leg of the tournament. However, the Knight Riders managed to turn things around in the Indian leg and finished the competition as champions.
One of the changes Kolkata Knight Riders made to their playing XI in that season was the promotion of a non-form Robin Uthappa to the opening spot. Raman revealed that he had suggested Robin’s name to team management before the 2014 IPL mega-sale, while the others searched for Murali Vijay.
“There were a lot of options and then it came down to opening batsmen. My suggestion was Robin Uthappa while the others watched Murali Vijay,” Raman said in an interview with cricket.com.
Gautam Gambhir Couldn’t Say To Jacques Kallis: WV Raman Reveals How Robin Uthappa Got Promotion
As mentioned before, KKR failed to impress much in the early games. Robin Uthappa didn’t score many points in the middle of the pack, so he asked for promotion to the opener place. Captain Gautam Gambhir was not too keen on the change, but Jacques Kallis convinced him to promote Robin.
“Kallis had a conversation with Gambhir in Ranchi for about half an hour. He had to sell it hard to Gautham before he agreed. He couldn’t say no to Jacques… and Uthappa opened up and got 40,” Raman added.
Robin Uthappa then opened the innings regularly for the Kolkata Knight Riders and went on to win the 2014 IPL Orange Cap award for scoring the most runs in the tournament. He became the first Indian player in IPL history to win the title and the Orange Cap in the same season that KKR defeated Punjab Kings to win their second trophy.