A considerable amount of spotlight will be on Kolkata Knight Riders opener Robin Uthappa tonight. Not only will he be under pressure to give KKR a good start in the IPL final against Kings XI Punjab at Bangalore' Chinnaswamy Stadium, Uthappa could break Chris Gayle's IPL record of becoming the highest run-getter in a season. (Live Scorecard | KKR vs KXIP updates)
Consistency has been key to Uthappa's form this season. He has been rewarded with a berth in the Indian ODI team that will play three ODIs later this month in Bangladesh. Breaking Gayle's record will set Uthappa up for bigger deeds, although international cricket can be a different cup of tea. (Sehwag's Hitting Leaves Miller Speechless)
Uthappa (655 at an average of 46.78 in 15 matches) needs 79 runs to establish a record for the highest run-aggregate in an IPL season. The record is held by Gayle (for Royal Challengers Bangalore) - 733 (average 61.08) in 15 matches in 2012. (Johnson Eyes Two in Two)
The pugnacious Uthappa has enjoyed his stint with KKR this season. The runs have been the result of the 28-year-old's hard work under a professional set of trainers, including coach and former Indian batsman, Pravin Amre. (KKR Have Climbed Mount Everest: Akram)
"I have been in good form coming into the tournament and am completely enjoying playing the game right now," Uthappa said in an interview. He has enjoyed his role as an opener and hopes to carry on the same role for Team India.
Uthappa said, "I have always been most comfortable up the order which I feel is my best position."
Uthappa, of course, is now focusing on Sunday final against Kings XI Punjab. "It is a great feeling to be in the final first of all. Being at the Chinnaswamy is an additional bonus as it is a ground I enjoy playing at. Hopefully, we will get a lot of support from the crowd and put in a great performance," said Uthappa.
If Kolkata win the final, they will be the second team after Chennai Super Kings to record two IPL titles. A victorious KKR will also become the first team to register nine wins in-a-row in the IPL. Till before Sunday's final, the record for most consecutive IPL winsÂ -- eight each -- is shared by Mohali and Kolkata.