Rayudu on Kohli’s 37th ODI century: India’s latest No. 4 spoke about his game-changing partnership with the Indian captain.
The second ODI of the ongoing Windies’ tour of India at Visakhapatnam saw India being reduced to 40-2 in the ninth over. From an Indian perspective, it might not have been the best of starts.
That being said, it surely gave their No. 4 an opportunity to press his case. Ambati Rayudu joined captain Virat Kohli in the middle, stitching a 139-run partnership for the third wicket.
In the 12 ODI innings which Rayudu has played at No. 4, he has scored 381 runs at an average of 47.62 and a strike rate of 72.84. Although his numbers are better at No. 3, Rayudu will have to continue playing in a similar fashion for India requires a batsman like him at No. 4.
Rayudu registered his ninth ODI half-century, scoring 73 (80) with the help of eight fours. Speaking to Sanjay Manjrekar after the Indian innings, Rayudu agreed to the fact that India required a partnership when he walked out to bat.
“It was important situation to build a partnership today. Happy to get some runs, but I missed out on a hundred. It was a golden opportunity for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it next time,” Rayudu was quoted.
On being asked about batting at No. 4, Rayudu said that the batting position isn’t new to him. “All my life I’ve batted in the middle order, so I’m used to it. The challenge is keeping the score ticking,” the 33-year old right-hand batsman said.
Rayudu further said that he and Kohli were relaxed initially and lent praise for his captain who broke several records today. “Kohli and I were very relaxed. For him to bat that way on that pitch – I don’t think its a 321 pitch – he was on another level,” he added.
Rayudu had come into recognition after undergoing an outstanding IPL earlier this year. Highest run-scorer for his franchise Chennai Super Kings, Rayudu had scored 602 runs in 16 matches at an average of 43 and a strike rate of 149.75. Rayudu credited former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni for promoting him up the order at CSK.
“It was a great platform and thanks to Dhoni at CSK, who helped me bat higher up, and yeah, I’m happy with the way everything is going,” he further added.
Read some of the recent Twitter reactions on Rayudu below:
Rayudu vindicating @imVkohli faith in him. Good half century with two wickets having fallen early. And what can one say of Kohli himself? Batting like a bazooka!
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) October 24, 2018
You would think Rayudu’s career revival started with all the runs he scored in IPL-2018. It actually started with this tweet in IPL-2017. https://t.co/r15Da2wjOP
— cricBC (@cricBC) October 24, 2018
SR of over 90 today, outpacing and outscoring #Kohli while at the crease after coming in under even more pressure at 40/2, already saved around 12 runs by the 15th over, what more could any team want from their No. 4? (And I’m just being objective, not a big #Rayudu fan)
— Joshua Patrao (@Corlan_Dashiva) October 24, 2018
#INDvWI India post a formidable total of 321/6 after 50 overs thanks to 157 not out from Virat Kohli. Ambati Rayudu made 73. Ashley Nurse was the pick of the bowlers for the Windies, bagging 2/46. Debutant Obed McCoy took 2/71 and Kemar Roach 1/67. pic.twitter.com/MjxmQxzmz4
— WIPA (@wiplayers) October 24, 2018