Sachin Tendulkar has helped me immensely: Rayudu

Ever since Ambati Rayudu started playing for Baroda about a couple of years ago, this stylish Hyderabad batsman's fortunes have been on an upswing. And after some fabulous performances for Baroda and a couple of great seasons for Team Mumbai in the IPL (Indian Premier League), the icing on the cake came when Rayudu was recently selected in the Indian team for the two T20 matches against England.

"I have been consistently doing well for Baroda and also in the IPL. So, I was hopeful that I would get selected sometime. I don't want to be under any pressure and want to cherish every moment with the Indian team. I have had my share of ups and downs but I never left hope even in the most difficult of times. I am very happy that I got this break," says Rayudu, who has waited for years for this moment.

Considered one of the most talented batsmen in the country, he was expected to don India colours at least eight years back. But circumstances (like his shifting to the Indian Cricket League) delayed his India debut and having finally got the opportunity, Rayudu doesn't want to look back.

"I am well prepared. As cricketers, this is what we live for! I just want to give it all that I have for my country." he says. Excerpts from a chat:


"Today, cricketers have very hectic schedules but I am very lucky to have a really understanding and supportive wife. Thanks to her, I am always in a good space in my personal life and don't have to think about anything other than my game."


"Off the field, I have always been an introvert. I know that I have been involved in some heated exchanges on the field in the past and it's not something that I am very proud of. However, I am really passionate about the sport and there are moments when tempers go out of control. But I am now better at managing such situations!"


"I am very passionate about photography and crazy about road trips. It helps that I and my wife have the same set of friends. We have been on some really memorable trips and the ones to Munar in Kerala and Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh really stand out. Also, I can sit through any kind of movie (laughs)!"


"I love challenges thrown at me and enjoy close finishes (Rayudu had won a game with a last-ball six in the IPL). I have learnt a lot from Sachin Tendulkar on how to stay calm under pressure. He is a great human being and has helped me immensely with my game. It has been my privilege to be involved in some good partnerships with a legend like him in the IPL."