Rohit Rayudu has every reason to dream big – to play for India one day. And, he is aware that he has “a long, long way to go”. But, is visibly pleased with the first few confident steps he has made – with a century in the Ranji Trophy match against Delhi recently and then following up with two hundreds in the on-going Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament.
“I just want to enjoy playing. Happy with the way things have gone so far. They are the result of lot of hard work, guidance by my cousin (Ambati Rayudu) and coach Jack Sir (J. Arun Kumar). They have ensured that I am always in the comfort zone without putting any kind of pressure on me,” says the 23-year-old Rohit, clearly determined to come out of the shadows of the more famous and senior Ambati Rayudu even while reminding everyone that he never expected to play under the latter.
“There is no doubt that he (Ambati) is the inspiration for me to take up cricket. I grew up watching him and I learnt a lot watching him train and play,” says Rohit.
Significantly, Rohit has no problems in adapting to the two different formats – four-day and one-day games. “I should mention this is because of the simple advice by Jack Sir (coach). He always tells not to bother too much about getting too many runs in power-plays. Just stay there as long as possible and runs will come – was his advice,” reminds the young talent.
“Now, I am glad that I am playing long innings and able to go for the big shots once I am settled,” says the in-form opener.
Like every young determined talent, Rohit, who admires batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, is keen to improve his scoring rate in the power-play and showcase his bowling skills too.
“Well, right now I just want to enjoy my game and take one match at a time with the immediate focus being to play a key role in Hyderabad winning the Vijay Hazare Trophy. We badly need this one to bring back the glory days. This team is capable of doing that with the right blend of experience and youthful exuberance and is high on confidence. We all gel really well,” he says.
With Hyderabad taking on Chattisgarh in the crucial final round at Gymkhana Ground on Wednesday, Rohit says his team is confident of finishing on a winning note to qualify for the knock-out phase.
“What happened against Vidarbha was an aberration (drubbed badly) in the early round. The fact that we have recovered fast to rediscover the winning run is proof of the kind of potential we have,” signs off the exciting, young batsman in the mood to step into the ‘zone’.
At the end of penultimate round (matches, played, won, lost, points, net run-rate):
Jammu & Kashmir 5-2-3-8- (-0.859)
Jharkhand 5-1-4-4- (-0.005)
Wednesday’s matches: Vidarbha vs Saurashtra (AOC Thapar Stadium), Jharkhand vs J & K (Uppal Stadium), Hyd vs Chattisgarh (Gymkhana) – 9. 00 am.