Ambati Rayudu walked into the room confidently and when someone complimented him on looking “very fit,” all he offered in return was a shy smile.
Given the uproar the decision to drop him from the Indian ODI squad for England had caused in several quarters — he had first been selected — after failing to clear Yo-Yo test, his reaction was understandable.
However, the 32-year-old strokemaker is still fired by his dream to represent the country. He said here on Tuesday,
“Of course, I want to play for India again. It greatly motivates me. I will have to undergo the Yo-Yo test again in a few weeks and once I clear that I hope to be representing India.”
Rayudu, who last played for India in 2016, has a laudable record in ODIs with 1055 runs in 34 matches at 50.23.
And Rayudu remembered the role Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had played in him coming into the India reckoning again. He notched up 602 runs at 43.00 for the franchise in IPL 2018.
“Even when I played for the other franchises, CSK would always be a team we would be wary of. And when I was picked by CSK, I was very happy. The franchise showed a lot of confidence in me which mattered.”
Rayudu said the positive vibes in the team helped. “I got the opportunity to express myself freely. And interactions with Mahi bhai (M.S. Dhoni) and coach Stephen Fleming were really beneficial. I plan to do even better next year.”
Rayudu will be travelling as mentor with the Junior Super Kings team for an under-17 tournament in England this week. Actually, he will be close to the Indian team in the Old Blighty.
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