NEW DELHI/ HYDERABAD: On his current form, Ambati Rayudu is just a step away from making a comeback into the Indian team. Rayudu’s outstanding batting display while playing up-the-order for Chennai Super Kings has made him an obvious choice when the selectors pick the team for the England ODI and T20 series. On top of that, he also looks far more convincing than the likes of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav as a choice in the middle-order.
Reacting to Rayudu’s blazing form, MSK Prasad, chairman of the national selection committee, said that he was happy for the player. “I am excited about his form. He has come out all guns blazing and gives us a few more options,” he told TOI on Thursday.
In fact MSK has fond memories of Rayudu’s batsmanship as the Hyderabadi had slammed a century and double century in the same game against Andhra. Rayudu is no green horn and has been around for 15 years or so. It was his Under-15 coach Roger Binny who had predicted his rise and even given a report to BCCI on how he would be the future of Indian cricket one day. His hot-headedness coupled with some bad choices and internal politics of Hyderabad cost him dearly all these years. But now, he is refreshingly an old wine in a new bottle.
“I totally agree that Rayudu should get into the Indian team on his current form. He has shown great skills and form. He should certainly be considered for the shorter formats,” former cricketer turned commentator L Shivaramakrishnan, who witnessed yet another great knock from Rayudu at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Wednesday night against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, said.
“Ambati has been sensational with the bat this season, looking fitter and aggressive. His body positioning and balance are near perfect hence he is able to play some unbelievable shots and taking the opposition bowling to pieces no matter what the pitch has to offer. He still has got in him to play at the highest level,” he said.
Not that the 32-year old Hyderabadi didn’t play for India. He was picked earlier and even did justice to his selection. But he was dropped unceremoniously and last season was out of action due to an injury. “If it wasn’t for his injury, the selectors would have definitely picked him last year too,” a BCCI source said.
With IPL being the biggest stage after international cricket, Rayudu is bent on showcasing his talent. Mumbai Indians failed to make use of him and let him go this season. However, CSK has been a boon for him and he has got his mojo back.