Ambati Rayudu silences his critics

A lot of eyebrows had been raised over Ambati Rayudu selection in the India 'A' squad, without featuring in the Ranji Trophy at all this season. Rayudu, however, silenced his critics with an elegant hundred for India 'A' against the touring England side at the Brabourne Stadium here.

Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu's century not only justified his presence in the team, but also gave a much-neeeded option to the national selectors in case of a break-down in the hectic limited-overs’ season that started on Tuesday.   -  PTI

The last time Ambati Rayudu had batted in a competitive match before Tuesday was well over six months ago, in a Twenty20 International against Zimbabwe. As a result, a lot of eyebrows had been raised over his selection in the India 'A' squad, without featuring in the Ranji Trophy at all this season.

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However, Rayudu silenced his critics with an elegant hundred for India 'A' against the touring England side at the Brabourne Stadium here. Not many of the doubt-mongers were aware that Rayudu had been sidelined with a knee injury that has been plaguing him ever since returning from Zimbabwe.

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After having partially recovered pre-season, the Hyderabad batsman, who had been plying trade for Baroda in domestic cricket even, signed a two-year contract with Vidarbha. However, the knee trouble resurfaced, thus putting an end to his Ranji ambitions.

However, the 31-year-old was rigorously getting himself back in shape, flying from his hometown to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Having worked extensively with the support staff at the NCA, it was just in time before the selection for the warm-up games, that Rayudu is understood to have conveyed to the selectors about his availability for the game.

On Tuesday, he did appear to have put a bit of flab, but it hasn’t resulted in loss of his flair. He drove with panachem, pulled effortlessly and even ran between the wickets well, thus giving an impression that he has almost gotten over the knee problem, at least for now.

His century not only justified his presence, but also gave a much-neeeded option to the national selectors in case of a break-down in the hectic limited-overs’ season that started on Tuesday.