Home > Features >

India vs Zimbabwe 2013: Ambati Rayudu celebrates his long-awaited call-up with a sensible innings

India vs Zimbabwe 2013: Ambati Rayudu celebrates his long-awaited call-up with a sensible innings

Ambati Rayudu (right) scored an unbeaten 63 on debut and shared a 159-run third-wicket stand with Virat Kohli (left) © AFP

Nishad Pai Vaidya reviews India’s performance in the first One-Day International (ODI) against Zimbabwe. He argues that the new-ball bowlers have to target wickets, although they did well to keep the Zimbabwe openers quiet. Ultimately, it was a big day for Ambati Rayudu even as Virat Kohli scripted a ton.

It was a largely untroubled path to victory for India as Zimbabwe rarely challenged them during the first One-Day International (ODI). There was a lot of talk about how this inexperienced Indian unit would perform given the 2010 sojourn — where a similar under-strength side failed to beat Zimbabwe. But, the bowlers were decent and the batsmen gave Zimbabwe no leeway of getting into the game.

A very pertinent fact is that there is a lot of help for the bowlers early on at the Harare Sports Club. The commentators did mention that during winters in Zimbabwe, there is a little bite in the wicket in the morning and the team that wins the toss should bowl first. The last time India toured Zimbabwe, they were involved in a tri-series — the third team being Sri Lanka. Interestingly, all the contests were won by the team batting second. In fact, in 25 one-dayers in Zimbabwe since May 2010 (including that tri-series), a team batting first has only won six times. That record reflects the kind of advantage the team bowling first has on Zimbabwean wickets. Thus, India had the upper hand the moment captain Virat Kohli called it right at the toss.

The Zimbabwe openers were measured in their approach and watchful during the first hour. Considering the conditions, it was the right way to go about things, but the general consensus is that they left the acceleration a touch too late. Despite the helpful wicket, the Indians didn’t trouble the batsmen a lot although they had a hold over proceedings. Shami Ahmed and Jaydev Unadkat have good analyses to show, but picking wickets would be crucial. Kohli did say at the presentation that India’s bowlers did a good job upfront, but they have to make inroads and dent the opposition.

R Vinay Kumar, the most experienced bowler of the lot, got a bit of stick. India have had him in their plans and this is a full series for him after quite some time. In the coming matches, he has to target the batsmen and fill his wickets column. With the heavyweights resting, this is chance to prove his worth and keep himself in the roster. The competition is cut-throat and each bowler is vying for a more permanent spot. Picking wickets is the way to go. Perhaps they may take a bit more time to settle in as this was the first game. As the series progresses, we can expect a better performance.

Amit Mishra was the pick of the bowlers without a doubt and he varied his length and flight very well. But, this bowling attack’s real test would come if they have to defend a total. Batting second, the conditions would be a lot easier and the new ball bowlers have to do the damage early before the batsmen get their eye in. Zimbabwe have a few good dangerous batsmen such as Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Hamilton Masakadza. Sikandar Raza is the latest addition to the list and he showed that he can be destructive if he settles down.

Coming to the batting, Kohli keeps maturing with each passing ton and grows as a player. One thing the batsmen have to guard against in such games is complacency. There can be a tendency of taking the opposition too lightly, but he was clinical and essayed an almost chanceless innings. No surprises one may say as he gets these hundreds quite regularly. However, from the perspective of his captaincy, it would be a huge boost to his confidence. This innings and the one he recorded at Trinidad (against the West Indies) would do well to establish him as a leader.

At the other end, Ambati Rayudu celebrated his long awaited international call-up with a fifty. Normally, viewers would associate him with the attacking brand of batsmanship as his exploits in the Indian Premier League (IPL) would suggest. However, he was sensible and capitalised on the opportunity to get a good score to his name. Many feared he would be the talent that got away! His Under-19 teammates such as Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa and Irfan Pathan to name a few shot ahead of him and made it to the national team. Having captained them at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, it would have been tough to see his one-time teammates surge ahead. However, fate presents him with the opportunity to bloom. Better late than never!

Shikhar Dhawan was also a part of the same batch and played under Rayudu. The Delhi southpaw is proving his talent at the highest level only now and Rayudu would want to emulate him. The start has been good and consistency is the key. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and a few others are waiting in the wings for their chances. Any slip-up may open the door for the others to get in. This is Rayudu’s chance to come into his own.

India would mark ticks in most boxes after this performance. This tour is more about grooming young talent and building a solid bench-strength. Four ODIs are yet to be playes and it is imperative that they maintain the intensity and keep it going.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 Semi-final East Zone vs South Zone: Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey take South 155 fo 2 at Tea

Owais Shah turns 36

Pakistan vs Australia 2014, 1st Test at Dubai: Visitors on top at Lunch on Day 1

Shane Watson believes that Australia can improve in T20s

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younus Khan and Azhar Ali add stability to Pakistan innings

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Duleep Trophy Semi-Final, Central Zone vs North Zone: Players to watch out for

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here