Batsman Robin Uthappa is determined to play for India in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Uthappa played the last of 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is in 2015. He has been in fine form for Kerala at domestic level – and is in the Rajasthan Royals' squad for this year's Indian Premier League.
“Right now I want to be competitive. I still have that fire burning in me, I really want to compete and do well,” Uthappa told ESPNcricinfo.
“I honestly believe I have a World Cup left in me, so I'm pursuing that, especially the shortest format. The blessings of Lady Luck or God or whatever you call it, plays a massive factor. Especially in India, it becomes so much more evident.
“I don't think it is as evident when you're playing cricket outside of India. But in the subcontinent and India especially, with the amount of talent that we do have in our country, all of those aspects become evident.
“You can never write yourself off. You would be unfair to yourself if you write yourself off. Especially if you believe you have the ability and you know that there is an outside chance. So I still believe in that outside chance.
“I still believe that things can go my way and I probably can be a part of a World Cup-winning team and play an integral role in that as well. Those dreams are still alive and I think I'll keep playing cricket till that is alive.”
Uthappa's IPL record
The 34-year-old Uthappa has also played for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors and Royal Challengers Bangalore. He has scored the eighth-most runs in the history of the IPL, flanked by Chennai Super Kings stalwart Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Bangalore big-hitter AB de Villiers in ninth and 10th position, respectively.
“When I played for India in 2007 and 2008, I scored all my runs opening the batting. Then I ended up playing for India in the middle-order, which from one perception it seems very unfair,” added Uthappa.
“That kind of cycle has repeated itself maybe three or four times in the three or four comebacks that I've made in the Indian team. I scored all the runs up the order, and I got to bat in the middle-order when I got back in the Indian team.”