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Team India: Uthappa admits let up in intensity

“The momentum we returned with (from South Africa), was for Twenty20 cricket and it was not easy to immediately change the mode. All of us were a bit knackered up after the (T20) World Cup. We had little time to shift gears and the intensity level dropped,” Uthappa said.

Admitting there was let up in intensity level of Indian team after the Twenty20 World Cup, middle order batsman Robin Uthappa today promised the hosts would “make amends” in remaining one-dayers against Australia.”The momentum we returned with (from South Africa), was for Twenty20 cricket and it was not easy to immediately change the mode.

 All of us were a bit knackered up after the (T20) World Cup. We had little time to shift gears and the intensity level dropped,” Uthappa told a press conference on the eve of the fourth ODI here.

We had hardly two days to prepare a plan for a tough series against Australia,” he said. The Karnataka player admitted the lack of partnerships in the middle order have often scuttled their chase in the series and promised that batsmen “would make amends”. India are trailing 0-2 with the first match of the seven-match series being washed out due to rains in Bangalore.

But with four more matches still remaining in the series, Uthappa said things were looking better for the side.

“Things are definitely better now. We are halfway through the series and hope things would improve soon. The body language in the dressing room is very positive and everyone is looking forward to the match. Chandigarh has been a happy hunting ground for us and we hope to do well tomorrow,” he said.

Although Australia have so far dominated the series with ruthless professionalism, Uthappa did not agree that the visitors won because they are a better side.

“They adapted well to the conditions of course but if you consider man-to-man, we believe we are still the better side. Skill wise, I won’t say they are ahead of us. In fact, we have more skilled players,” he said.

“Everyone gave 100 per cent in the field but it’s that sometimes the rub of the green does not go well for you,” he added.

Uthappa also rubbished the notion that the team stood divided with the senior players on one side and the juniors on the other.

“There is absolutely nothing like a senior vs junior thing in the team, it’s totally a media creation. Everyone is enjoying themselves in the dressing room and it’s amazing to be part of this team,” he said.

On his role, the hard-hitting batsman said it did not bother him whether he could avail the powerplays.

“Powerplays or otherwise, I go out to play my natural game. If I see a ball there to be hit, I’ll go after it and I want to stay there as long as possible.”

Uthappa admitted Matthew Hayden has been the thorn in India’s flesh and said bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and the pacers have come up with a plan to muzzle the towering Aussie.

“Well, that has been their strategy. Venky is discussing the issue with the bowlers and I think they would come up with something to silence him.”

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