ambati rayudu batting
Ambati Rayudu (PTI Photo)

In June, Ambati Rayudu was all geared up to travel to England after being named in India’s limited-overs squad for the UK tour. And then he failed the Yo-Yo test following which he was dropped from the team and replaced by Suresh Raina.

The fitness test generated a lot of heat with several former cricketers voicing their opinion against making it as the sole criteria to play for India. While opinions are still divided over the Yo-Yo test, Rayudu has no qualms saying he respects the fact that there is a certain fitness level necessary to play for India.

In his own words, Rayudu ‘believes in it.’

“I was disappointed with myself that I could not clear the test,” Rayudu wax quoted as saying by the PTI from Bengaluru after his unbeaten 62 led India A to a five-wicket win against Australia A on Thursday. “Nothing against the test at all as everybody has to attain a certain fitness level playing for India.”

Disappointment soon gave way to elation after the 32-year-old cleared it and was named in India A squad for the ongoing one-day quadrangular series. “To be honest, I believe in it. I was disappointed with myself as to why I could not clear the test so I worked towards it and cleared it. I cleared it a few days back and I also got a call up and am happy to be back in the scheme of things,” he said.

Rayudu last played for India in 2016 and despite the setback in June, hasn’t lost hope and is waiting for the right opportunity. “In a country of billion people, if you are able to represent your country, you will be happy, it is always a matter of pride. And I am happy that I am now in the scheme of things and just waiting for the opportunity,” he said.

It’s been around 16 years since Rayudu made his first-class debut and he feels that he has evolved as a cricketer. “I don’t remember as to what has happened in the last 16 years (giggles) and I am just taking it as it comes. I am a changed cricketer over the years,” he summed up.