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Rejuvenated Rayudu Keen to Nail Middle-order Spot

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: September 16, 2018, 11:13 PM IST

While India's ODI top-order looks steady, the middle-order has been a bit of a problem in recent times for the team. Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Ajinkya Rahane have all tried their hand at sealing the No.4 spot without much success.

The latest to throw his hat into the ring in a bid to nail the middle-order spot is Ambati Rayudu. The 32-year-old, who last played an international game for India in 2016, has a good chance to do that at the Asia Cup but the batsman from Hyderabad insisted that he was not thinking too much about the middle-order conundrum just yet.

“To be very honest, (I) haven’t thought about it or looked at it as a competition. It’s just an opportunity to express myself and (I) don’t want to put more pressure to my game by thinking about these,” said Rayudu.

Despite being in the reckoning all through, it was Rayudu's form in the IPL this year with the Chennai Super Kings that got him back in the mix. He was selected for the limited-overs leg of India's to England only to be later dropped after failing the mandatory Yo-Yo Test.

Now back into the mix after clearing the fitness tests Rayudu said that he is confident of doing well at the multi-nation tournament.

“Obviously it was frustrating to miss out on the England tour. But I’m happy that I can come back and give the test and get picked to play in the Asia Cup,” he said. “This year I played well in the IPL. The main thing is that I feel age doesn’t matter as long as you are fit.”

With Virat Kohli rested after a grueling tour of the United Kingdom, India are taking part in the multi-nation tournament a batsman short. Rayudu though, was confident the other batsmen will do the job in Kohli's absence.

"Obviously it is a big miss and a big loss that he is not able to participate in the tournament. But, we still have a good enough team to go out there and do well," he said.

Rayudu also downplayed the hot and humid conditions in Dubai, insisting the weather was quite similar to the Indian summers.

"I think recovery will be key here and resting well and eating well because the conditions here are similar to India summers," said Rayudu. "Everybody is used to playing in summers in India. I don't think it is a major challenge."

India play their first game of the Asia Cup on September 18 against Hong Kong followed by the big clash against Pakistan on September 19.

First Published: September 16, 2018, 11:05 AM IST

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