Motera ODI: Ton-up Rayudu thanks team management for support

Ahmedabad: An elated Ambati Rayudu yesterday said that his maiden hundred in international cricket will certainly be a “special one” as it took a long time to come.

Rayudu, who first time played for India A back in 2003 as a 18-year-old talent had lost his way in the middle joining unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL), leaving Hyderabad for Andhra and subsequently joining Baroda.

Ambati Rayudu celebrates his maiden ODI ton during the second one-dayer against SL

“It’s a special feeling as it’s been a long wait,” Rayudu said at the post-match presentation ceremony. Rayudu feels that since the team management gave him confidence, it was easier for him to showcase his skills at No 3 position which captain Kohli voluntarily vacated for him.

“I think, more than anything, the confidence given to me by the coach, Virat and Dhoni bhai. All the members of the team management telling me, hang in there. I was not actually looking to get a hundred as such, just trying to stay unbeaten and see the team through and in the process I got to the hundred,” said the soft-spoken former India U-19 captain. Asked if he would like to bat higher up the order like yesterday, Rayudu was diplomatic. “I think it’s left to the captain (keeping the No 3 position), so I'll stand by whatever decision he takes.”

Skipper Kohli was impressed in the manner Rayudu grabbed the chance to bat higher up the order. “It’s just giving the guys a bit of belief and confidence from my end,” Kohli said.

The skipper said that Rayudu, who has been around in the first-class circuit for a long time deserved the chance.

“Rayudu was in the India ‘A’ team 12 years back, and it’s all about giving him the opportunity that he deserved. He made full use of that.”

Figure trigger

Number of runs conceded by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 10th over — the joint most expensive of his ODI career

Number of times since 2001 that Sri Lanka have lost a wicket in the first over against India

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