India vs West Indies: Used to middle-order role, not thinking of World Cup, says Ambati Rayudu | Crickit
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India vs West Indies: Used to middle-order role, not thinking of World Cup, says Ambati Rayudu

Hindustan Times, Visakhapatnam | By
Oct 23, 2018 07:30 PM IST

Ambati Rayudu made it back to the India A team in the quadrangular series involving South Africa A and Australia A ending with 187 runs in four matches. He was picked for the Asia Cup and now has been chosen as the latest candidate for the No. 4 spot.

It has been a roller-coaster ride for Ambati Rayudu this year. He finished with 600-plus runs in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) and then missed the bus for the England tour for failing the yo-yo test in June.

India's Ambati Rayudu prepares to wear a helmet before batting in the nets during a practice session ahead of the second one-day international cricket match between India and West Indies in Visakhapatnam(AP)
India's Ambati Rayudu prepares to wear a helmet before batting in the nets during a practice session ahead of the second one-day international cricket match between India and West Indies in Visakhapatnam(AP)

He made it back to the India A team in the quadrangular series involving South Africa A and Australia A ending with 187 runs in four matches. He was picked for the Asia Cup, scored two half-centuries, and now has been chosen as the latest candidate for the No. 4 spot which has seen a musical chair of sorts of late.

Ahead of the second ODI here on Tuesday, Rayudu said working on fitness was not a knee jerk reaction after he failed the yo-yo test.

“I don’t think yo-yo test had any bearing on how was I preparing or how I was going about my fitness. I have been working on my fitness right from an earlier injury. Even now I go to the NCA if there is a small pocket of free time may be for a week. I am happy that I cleared the test,” said the 33-year-old Rayudu.

“I think even before the IPL, it’s not that I was not in contention. It’s just that I had few injuries and the IPL was good platform to come back strong,” added Rayudu, whose tally of 602 runs was the most by any Chennai Super Kings batsman in their title winning run in the 2018 IPL.

With just 17 ODIs remaining for the 2019 World Cup, any selection in the national team points to a potential place in the squad for the showpiece event. But Rayudu is not looking that far ahead.

“To be very honest, I am just focused on this series at the moment. I am not really thinking too far ahead. It is not a new role as I have been batting in the middle order for long. There is nothing new that they have asked me to do” said Rayudu, who made a comeback into the Indian team at the Asia Cup after a gap of two years.

With the Indian batting going great guns against West Indies, the general feeling is that the ongoing series might again be just a walk in the park.

Rayudu was cautious, though. “It’s just one game in the series. I think they bowled really well. It’s just that Virat (Kohli) and Rohit (Sharma) batted brilliantly. I think they will pose a good challenge in the coming games,” he said.

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