I play on my own terms, says Rayudu after retirement U-turn

Rayudu said the decision to return was prompted by the thought he was still fit and that he should not throw away the chance to remain in the game.

Ambati Rayudu: "I am on a dual mission: go out there and express myself and groom young talent."   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

The touch of class is very much evident as Ambati Rayudu whacks the bowlers all over during his first full, training session with the Hyderabad team on his return from retirement, at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Sunday.

“I am really excited and also very relaxed. I have nothing to prove,” the 33-year-old Rayudu tells Sportstar after a long session.

Rayudu will lead Hyderabad in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament in Bengaluru.

“I play my brand of cricket and don’t care what others say. Once I keep performing I should be on the radar (of Indian team selection),” says Rayudu.

“I am on a dual mission: go out there and express myself and groom young talent,” he says. “It was certainly a difficult phase in my career when I announced my retirement. But, now I have come out of it. Fully committed. What happened is past.”

He said the decision to return was prompted by the thought he was still fit and that he should not throw away the chance to remain in the game.“I retired only for 45 days and I don’t think there can be any big change in my game,” he said with a hearty laugh.

“It has been a 17-year-long journey in First Class cricket and having played the IPL for 10 seasons and for the country, I have taken the longest route to be where I am. I play on my own terms and will play as long as I feel I can,” he asserted.

Now that he has been named Hyderabad captain, what’s his goal? “Win the Ranji Trophy, for sure! Everyone of us (teammates and support staff) agree on that. It is something very emotional as we dream of putting our hands on the Ranji Trophy. I am sure this team can do it,” Rayudu concluded.