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    Rayudu replaces injured Tiwary in India's T20 squad

    New Delhi: Ambati Rayudu, the Baroda and Mumbai Indians batsman, has been called up to India's Twenty20 squad for two matches against England as a replacement for the injured Manoj Tiwary. This is Rayudu's first international call-up and comes after a strong IPL season in which he was Mumbai Indians' second-highest run scorer in 2012, with 333 in 15 innings.

    "Manoj Tiwary has been ruled out of the AIRTEL T20 International Series against England, on account of a side strain," said the BCCI in a press release. "The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked Ambati Rayudu as his replacement in the Indian team for the series."

    Rayudu, 27, has played 61 matches for Mumbai Indians, making 1248 runs at an average of 24.96 with a best of 81* not in IPL 5. In July, he was named in a 30-man shortlist for the ICC World Twenty20 but was not included in the final squad for the tournament in Sri Lanka. This is the first time he has been named in an Indian side after his return from the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

    He made his first-class debut for Hyderabad in 2001-02 and then moved to Andhra for the 2005-06 season, only to return briefly and then join the ICL in 2007. After serving a two-year ban Rayudu made a comeback to the Hyderabad Ranji Trophy team in 2009-10, but transferred to Baroda in 2010. His most recent Twenty20 outings came for Mumbai Indians during the Champions League in South Africa, where he managed scores of 4, 15, 1 and 6 as the defending champions failed to win a single match.

    Tiwary last played a Twenty20 international during New Zealand's tour of India in September. He picked up a series back injury which is expected to rule him out of competitive cricket for at least six weeks.

    The two Twenty20s against England are in Pune on December 20 and Mumbai two days later.