Just ahead of the ongoing season of Ranji Trophy, Ambati Rayudu decided to end his first-class career. Well, given that he is not a part of the Test team, the decision made sense. However, every coin has two side and the decision had some drawbacks too. Playing in India’s premier first-class tournament must have given him some much-needed match practise. Rayudu has become an integral part of India’s ODI team and he could have surely benefitted from playing in the Ranji Trophy.
Rayudu will be next seen in action when India takes on Australia for the three-match ODI series next month. It will be his first competitive assignment since the home series against Windies. And while many feel that Rayudu’s decision to retire from first-class cricket was not a smart one, the right-hander thinks otherwise. Rayudu defended his decision by saying that retiring was his method of managing the workload.
“I mean…the only thought process was to preserve my body as far as possible. I am 33. I have had surgery to my knee in the past. I really wanted to make efficient use of my body in terms of the amount of cricket I play,” Rayudu said.
When asked that his decision would lead to reduced match practice now that he will get into the Australia series having not played a single match for two months, Rayudu came up with a meek reply.
“No, I mean definitely match practice is important. Anyway red ball cricket and white ball cricket there is a huge amount of difference. You can compensate by practising and playing other games,” he said.
Asked how challenging it was preparing for the ODI series in Australia, he said that he is still preparing for the challenging tour.
“International cricket in itself is a challenge… so, all I can say is that I am preparing for the upcoming series in Australia the way I should. All I can say is I am preparing well..,” he said.
Rayudu had returned to the ODI team after a gap of two years for the Asia Cup and made an instant impact. He earned the recall for the England series after his exploits in the IPL. Rayudu had the best IPL with the bat, as he amassed 602 runs at a strike rate of 149.75 including one century.