Ambati Rayudu is delighted to have been selected to represent India in the two-match T20 International series against England.
“It is a great feeling, obviously. All I am looking for is to stay focused and live up to expectations,” says the batsman from Hyderabad, who now leads Baroda in the Ranji Trophy.
For the record, he has already scored four half-centuries, and a century this season.
The 27-year-old Rayudu, who earlier represented Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy and has also turned out for India ‘A’, says that he has never set himself any big targets at any stage of his career.
“Given my recent good performances at different levels, I was optimistic of getting the big break and I am glad that I could make it,” he said.
In a chat with The Hindu, Rayudu said that playing for Mumbai Indians for three seasons in the IPL had helped him evolve into a more mature and responsible cricketer.
“There is no better experience than playing alongside greats like Sachin Tendulkar. The most impressive facet of Sachin’s character is his work ethic and humility despite his fabulous achievements. We naturally tend to pick up a few things from him,” he says.
Rayudu acknowledges his gratitude to his first coaches Vijay Paul and Nagesh Hammand for their help in his school days.
“Then, there are many others also, including India ‘A’ coach Robin Singh sir and the current Baroda coach Sanath Kumar who have helped me a lot,” he said.
“Moreover, I cannot forget the contribution of the HCA and the Baroda Cricket Association for giving me the opportunities when I was looking for a break in domestic cricket,” he said.
“I dedicate this latest achievement to my parents and my wife for their unstinted support in my hours of crisis. They always made me believe that bigger things in cricket would come to me,” Rayudu says.
“There is no better feeling than to play for India, it’s a dream come true,” he concluded.