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I have grown as a cricketer: Uthappa
[Image: robinuthappa5_313.jpg]

New Delhi: One player the Mumbai Indians don't have in their ranks any more is Robin Uthappa who has returned to home to play for Bangalore Royal challengers. Uthappa told CNN-IBN that he is hoping for a good showing in the IPL to stake claim for a national place again.

CNN-IBN: You have been out of international cricket for over eight months now. How are you planning to come back?

Robin Uthappa: Nine months, actually. It's quite exciting, I have really enjoyed this time off. It's been a time of growth personally. I've enjoyed playing domestic cricket where I've done fairly well for myself - I was probably the third highest run-getter for the country this season. I have grown as a cricketer. Time out of the national team gives you an opportunity to implicate everything you have learnt being in the side.

CNN-IBN: In what way do you think the IPL can help bolster your chances for a national berth?

Robin Uthappa: One has to understand that the IPL is a fantastic platform for all youngsters and fringe players to make a comeback in the side. Even for someone like Yusuf Pathan, it was a fantastic platform for him that brought him into the side. So, if people like me are trying to make a comeback its going to be a superb platform for me.

CNN-IBN: Why do you think your Bangalore side can win the IPL this time? What are the team's strengths?

Robin Uthappa: We have a fantastic bowling unit this time around. The Indian lads are a lot better in the sense that there has been a lot of purpose behind our practice. We're looking a good side. We just need to come together as a team because everyone has a lot of international assignments. So waiting for all of us to come together in South Africa and take it from there.

CNN-IBN: Kevin Pietersen is going to be your new captain this time. With a lot of temperament coming in with him, in what way do you think he could probably give a boost to the team?

Robin Uthappa: He's a very exciting cricketer and that makes him an exciting human being as well. I'm looking forward to working with him. There are other greats as well in the side - Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. So I'm looking forward to working with all of them. In Twenty20 cricket, you need more than one mind. Pietersen is coming in for the first time, he needs to get to know the local players, I'm sure Rahul and Anil will help him do that for sure.

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