The player

Ambati Rayudu has had a somewhat disappointing career in so far as the 33-year-old batsman has not been able to play for India in the World Cup yet. His first few years were spent embroiled in controversies. In the previous World Cup, he was part of the squad but did not get a chance to play. But this time, he may finally get his chance to play for India, though it may be a decade later than he would have expected.

After his potential failed to materialize into actual capability early in his career, he started playing in the Indian Cricket League, the rival tournament which in the end forced the BCCI to counter with the Indian Premier League. It was his time with the Mumbai Indians, which brought him back into the limelight.

His comeback

He ultimately debuted in international cricket at age 28, against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2013. Since then, he has scored 1230 runs with an average of 49.20 in 40 ODIs since then. This proved enough for the captain and the team to decide that Rayudu is the perfect fit for the No. 4 position in the ODI team.

This is what could be amassed from what skipper Virat Kohli said while addressing reporters on Saturday. He clearly stated that most of the slots in the ODI team are more or less fixed and the only position for which various players were being tried out was the No. 4 spot.

Kohli said that after seeing Rayudu’s performance in the Asia Cup, the team feels that he is the right man for the job. Kohli said that the team is “almost sorted”.

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No. 4

Kohli said that before the Asia Cup, he also wanted Rayudu to feature in the No. 4 position in England but due to some technical reasons that could not happen. Kohli said that in the 18 matches that India’s ODI team will be playing before the World Cup, Rayudu will be given the No. 4 spot to get comfortable in the position.

Kohli also stated that the matches leading up to the World Cup will be all about trying out new combinations. Apart from unforeseen events or injuries, there won’t be too many changes. He said that apart from switching the bowlers around there won’t be much change.

He stated that some new players had been selected for the West Indies series as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are resting while Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav are recuperating from injuries.