Finishing as the best player in an effort which helps the team finish with the trophy is a feeling which is hard to describe. No wonder Robin Uthappa struggled to describe his emotions after Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by three wickets to win Indian Premier League 2014 on Sunday. (Scorecard | Match Report | Match Highlights | Pics)
Uthappa played a leading role in Kolkata's epic performance in IPL 2014 - the team became the only side to register nine consecutive wins in the tournament's history. He finished with 660 runs at an average of 44 to take the Purple Cap, the award for the highest run-scorer in the tournament. While he let his bat do the talking throughout the season, Uthappa himself fell short of words after the final. "It has been surreal. I'm at a loss for words," he said after the match. "I'm happy I've contributed in a meaningful manner."
While he may have failed with the bat on Sunday - scoring just five after Kolkata were set a target of 200, Uthappa reflected on his overall performance with pride. "If I have to pick one innings, I'd choose the one against Mumbai Indians, because I played with a broken toe, and I broke through a physical barrier," said the 28-year-old batsman from Karnataka.
With five fifties to his credit, Uthappa showed no amount of physical pain could be a deterrent for a man on a mission. It has been a mission that has helped him not just emerge as a powerful IPL performer but has also helped him earn a recall to the national side - he has been included in India's squad for the three-ODI series against Bangladesh starting June 15.