Making comeback in the international cricket, Indian cricketer Ambati Rayudu doesn’t feel any competition in the middle-order batting and feels it is an opportunity for him to express himself.
The right-hand batsman was in the brilliant form during the IPL 2018 where the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsman finished as the fourth leading run-scorer in the tournament by scoring 602 runs in 16 innings with the average of 43.00 and strike-rate of 149.75.
His great IPL form provided a comeback opportunity for him in the international cricket after around two years later as he was selected in the Indian ODI squad for the England tour. But he had a hard luck in the new fitness system Yo-Yo test where he failed to get the pass mark in that mandatory test and missed the England flight.
Recently, Rayudu improved on it and finally achieved the pass mark in that test and has been selected for the Asia Cup 2018 in United Arab Emirates (UAE). He feels there is no competition in the middle-order batting and it is an opportunity to express himself.
Rayudu said, “To be very honest, (I) haven’t thought about it or looked at it as a competition. It is just an opportunity to express myself and I don’t want to put more pressure to my game by thinking about these (things).
It is expected that Rayudu has been selected for the unsettled no.4 batting option in ODI cricket. In that case, he has to fight with KL Rahul and Manish Pandey as everyone is focusing to secure their spot in the national squad prior to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England. However, Rayudu claimed that they are presently focusing for the Asia Cup.
Rayudu said on that, “We are in for the Asia Cup and I don’t think anybody is thinking about it right now.”
Indian captain Virat Kohli has been rested for this tournament and the limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma will lead the squad in the Asia Cup 2018. Rayudu feels they will miss Kohli but they have enough strength in the squad.
Rayudu said, “Obviously he (Virat) is a big miss and loss to the team. However, we still have enough quality in the team to go out and win. He (Dhoni) has been India’s captain and always been the go-to man for everybody in the team,”
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Seeding in the Group A with Pakistan and the qualifier champion Hong Kong, India will start their journey in this competition against Hong Kong on September 18. On the very next day, India will face their arch-rival Pakistan, but Rayudu feels it will be not a disadvantage for them.
Rayudu said, “I don’t think it will be a disadvantage. It will be definitely tough and I’m sure we will do the best possible things to recover and go out fresh to play the next game.”