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Asia Cup 2018: In Kohli’s absence, Rayudu looks up to ‘go-to-man’ MS Dhoni


Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be the “go-to-man” for India’s middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu in the ongoing Asia Cup as India begin their title defence without the services of their skipper Virat Kohli who has been rested due to excess workload.

“Obviously he (Virat) is a big miss and loss to the team. However, we still have enough quality in the team to go out and win. He (Dhoni) has been India’s captain and always been the go-to man for everybody in the team,” said Rayudu at a media conference, as quoted by Deccan Chronicle.

“He (Dhoni) has helped me a lot in terms of how I recovered this season,” he added.

Rayudu would be very keen on cementing a spot for himself in the Indian middle-order ahead of the World Cup in 2019 but the right-hander said that he hasn’t yet thought about it yet and that he doesn’t want to put pressure on himself by thinking these.

Also Read: Asia Cup a rehearsal for 2019 World Cup: Rohit Sharma

“To be very honest, (I) haven’t thought about it (middle-order) 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,” he said.

Returning from an injury, Rayudu further stated that the team is entirely focused on the Asia Cup.
“I don’t think anybody is actually thinking about the World Cup. We are in for the Asia Cup and I don’t think anybody is thinking about it right now.”

India begins their Asia Cup campaign against debutants Hong Kong on September 18 and square off against arch-rivals Pakistan a day later.

“I don’t think it will be a disadvantage. It will be definitely tough and I’m sure we will do best possible things to recover and go out fresh to play the next game,” he opined.

After having put up a good show with the bat in the Indian Premier League for the returning Chennai Super Kings, Rayudu failed to make it to the Indian team after he failed to clear a Yo-Yo test.

Admitting that it was frustrating to have missed out on the tour of England despite being in good form, Rayudu said, ” 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.

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“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,” he added further.

Having cleared the Yo-Yo test in his second attempt, Rayudu participated for India A in the tri-series involving Australia A and South Africa A.

He played an unbeaten 62-run knock in Bengaluru against Australia A in a low-scoring match. He also scored 66 runs against South Africa A at Alur.

Image Source: DNA India

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