Determined Rayudu hopeful of India return

The dashing middle-order batsman talks about India recall, his time with the Mumbai Indians and its team philosophy.

The flamboyant strokemaker, who has played 34 ODIs at an average of 50.23 with two centuries, is positive about his return to India colours.   -  The Hindu

Ambati Rayudu says his biggest goal is to regain the India cap, gently reminding that all the efforts he has been putting in are with this specific objective.

“It is a great feeling to be a member of Mumbai Indians which has won the IPL thrice and the Champions League twice in the eight seasons I have played for them,” Rayudu said in a chat with Sportstar.

“I personally believe that the best years for a cricketer, especially a batsman, are between 28 and 35. So, my gut feel is that the best years are ahead of me. I have been very consistent in recent years and feel that I am at my peak as a batsman,” says the 31-year-old.

“At different levels and in major tournaments, you push yourself to be in the national reckoning. In that context, winning the recent IPL and contributing in my own little way has given me immense satisfaction,” says the exciting batsman.

The flamboyant stroke-maker says that he is more mature now as a cricketer with lot more positive aggression. “I try to confine the aggression only to my batting and not carry it beyond the boundary,” he says with a big smile. “Aggression has been one of my strengths and I am channelising it with a positive intent.”

“It is a special feeling to win the IPL in my hometown. I wish I had not been run out for I was playing well and looking for a big knock in the final (against Rising Pune Supergiant),” recalls the dashing batsman, who has played 34 ODIs at an average of 50.23 with two centuries.

“What is important is the way we Mumbai Indians keep ourselves motivated. Never content in winning one title and relaxing. For instance, when we won the first, we were never content. The urge was on for the second and then the third one. So, that’s how we are always high on motivation,” explains Rayudu.

Rayudu reminds the philosophy of the Mumbai camp has always been to aim for the title while other teams’ first target would be to qualify for the play-offs.

As a cricketer, what are the big changes he sees in himself? “To be patient, a complete professional in whatever you do and mastering the art of performing under pressure. These characteristics have made a huge difference for me,” insists Rayudu.

“If you remember, I was there in the scheme of things as far as the Indian team is concerned last year. But, injuries dented my chances. Again, because I have been pushing myself too far, these things happen. But they will not be a deterrent even as I look for a very successful domestic season,” remarks Rayudu.

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