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 in 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 ended the competition as champions.
One of the changes that Kolkata Knight Riders made to their playing XI during that season was promoting an out-of-form Robin Uthappa to the opening spot. Raman disclosed that before the IPL 2014 Mega Auction, he suggested Robin’s name to the team management, while the others looked for Murali Vijay.
“There were a lot of options and then it came to opening batsmen. My suggestion was Robin Uthappa while the others were looking at Murali Vijay,” said Raman in an interview with cricket.com.
Gautam Gambhir could not say to Jacques Kallis: WV Raman reveals how Robin Uthappa received a promotion
As mentioned ahead, KKR could not impress much in the initial matches. Robin Uthappa did not score many runs in the middle order, so he asked for a promotion to the opener’s spot. Captain Gautam Gambhir was not so keen about that change, but Jacques Kallis convinced him to promote Robin.
“Kallis had a chat for about half an hour in Ranchi with Gambhir. He had to hard-sell it to Gautham before he agreed. He couldn’t say no to Jacques… and Uthappa opened and got 40 odd,” Raman added.
Robin Uthappa then regularly opened the innings for the Kolkata Knight Riders and went on to win the IPL 2014 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 as KKR beat Punjab Kings to win their second trophy.