Ambati Rayudu admits he is not concentrating on getting picked for India
The 31-year-old last played for India during the limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in June 2016.
What’s the story?
Despite averaging in excess of 50 in ODIs, Ambati Rayudu isn’t a regular in the Indian limited-overs side and the 31-year-old admitted that he just wants to be consistent and meet his own standards, even if he doesn’t end up playing for India.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Rayudu said: “I think the only competitor for me is myself. I really don’t care who is there in the team or whether I’m picked or not because it’s not in my hand. My job is to perform. As long as I’m getting into the standards which I want to see myself, to score runs, to be consistent till then I really don’t mind if I’m not called to play for India. There is healthy competition to get into the Indian squad as everyone is performing tremendously well.”
Extra Cover: Ambati Rayudu: The man who refuses to give up
In case you didn’t know...
After missing the Ranji Trophy season with a right quadriceps muscle pull, Rayudu has made a brilliant comeback in the domestic limited-overs competition. After scoring a century during MS Dhoni’s last match as India A captain during the warm-up match against England, he was in good touch for Vidarbha in the Inter-Zonal T20 tournament and made a brilliant start to the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Saturday against Punjab, as he scored 86 which ultimately went in vain as Vidarbha lost.
There can be little doubt about Ambati Rayudu’s prowess as a solid middle-order batsman for India. Over 1,000 ODI runs at an average of 50.23 certainly showcase his consistency in the format but he hasn’t been a regular feature in the Indian ODI side.
While the likes of Yuvraj Singh have been recalled, Rayudu has been often overlooked and seen as nothing more than a second-string player who is always on the tour of Zimbabwe, whenever India tours there. Despite his consistent performances, he has seldom been given the opportunity to express himself in ODIs and that has meant that he has had to concentrate on domestic cricket and playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
After an excellent start to the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the 31-year-old batsman will be looking to continue his good form and cross the 4,000 run mark in List-A cricket, which he is short of by just 181 runs, over the course of the tournament. After that, there is the small matter of the IPL where he is an integral part of the Mumbai Indians set-up as they look for their third IPL title.
Sometimes stereotypes often have a negative impact on a player’s career. Despite an impressive average in ODIs, Rayudu has never been given a consistent run in ODIs for India. With the Champions Trophy coming up, they could certainly use some experience in the squad, especially considering Manish Pandey’s faltering form. If the 31-year-old continues his good run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and in the IPL, that might just be enough for the selectors pick him in the squad for the Champions Trophy in June.