Robin Uthappa has played for Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and the now defunct Pune Warriors India in the Indian Premier League. But the wicketkeeper-batsman found stability and form once he started playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014.

He has won the IPL trophy since then and has been a crucial player throughout the years. It came as little surprise then, that he was retained for Rs 6.4 crore by the team after using the Right-to-Match option

This season Uthappa’s role with KKR is even more crucial given that long-time captain Gautam Gambhir is no longer with the unit. The franchise has even gone for a smaller squad in the IPL Auctions last month, with only 19 players in it.

All of this could mean more pressure on the Karnataka batsman, but he is looking forward to the challenge at the place he calls “home”.

The big question with the new-look KKR team is that of captaincy now. Will Uthappa be up to the ask? He certainly feels so.

“I’ll be honoured if the opportunity came along but it’s for the think-tank to decide - whatever role they want me to take, I’ll give my 110%. Adding value to my team as a cricketer is crucial to my game,” he was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

However, the team is yet to decide on a leader and the other name doing the rounds is Dinesh Karthik. The wicketkeerper-batsman is among the core group of Indian players that KKR have built, going for more home-grown talent.

“I think it’s great foresight. A lot of the domestic Indian batters must be gung-ho about playing in the first team and that’s a great position to be in.

“It is only when you give them responsibilities that you find out whether they are going to flourish as athletes or learn how to handle the pressure. What the team has done is, it has given them a chance to expose themselves to some quality international cricket and see how the boys do,” Uthappa told Sportstar.

One of these domestic players in India’s Under-19 World Cup hero Shubman Gill, who was bought for Rs 1.8 crore. “Gill has got a very strong game, I think he’s a naturally aggressive player. And he looks very versatile at this point in time,” he added.

Given the gamble to field a smaller squad, the onus will be on Uthappa to take up a lot more responsibility for Kolkata, captain or not.