Breaking down Ambati Rayudu's performances: Minor teams Vs Top teams
- His performances against top teams do not make a case for him batting at #4
It won't be too wrong to say that Ambati Rayudu was only picked in India's ODI side on the back of his good exploits in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) for he wasn't even in contention before that. He scored 602 runs in the 16 matches he played for Chennai Super Kings in their title-winning campaign. His stats show that he is not the solution to India's number four batting conundrum.
In the 26 matches which he has played against minor teams like Sri Lanka, Windies, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong, he has scored 1028 runs at an average of 68.53 with a decent strike-rate of 84.26.
He also has 3 centuries and 6 fifty plus scores under his belt with his highest score being 124* vs Zimbabwe. These are great numbers for any batsman and there are no complaints here.
But his stats decrease drastically versus top teams like Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. While facing them, he has played 29 matches scoring 666 runs at an average of 31.71 with his runs per hundred balls being 72.15. Both his average and strike rate are not up to the mark with respect to the expectations from a batsman batting at number 4 in the Indian batting line-up. He is yet to deliver a ton against them though he has registered 4 fifties against these teams. He has never played against South Africa, but it wouldn't be too hard to guess his stats if he had.
His low strike-rate is the biggest drawback in his batting, for everyone noticed that 358 wasn't enough to defend - and in England, 350+ scores would be a common thing. Therefore, India would need to set or chase big totals and his current way of batting will not help them. In the transition between minor and major teams, a dip in performance could be acceptable but the drought is not.
Ambati Rayudu's selection in the 2019 World Cup squad will be more of a preferential choice as his numbers aren't adequate for considering him to be selected in the final fifteen. Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Manish Pandey, or Shreyas Iyer are some better alternatives available to the selection panel.