India's No. 4 batsman Ambati Rayudu on Monday cemented his position with an impressive 80-ball hundred, following a consistent run in the ongoing five-match series against West Indies. Smashing eight boundaries and four sixes, the Andhra-born batsman displayed aggressive batting and drove India past 336/3 after 46.4 overs in the fourth ODI against West Indies at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. (LIVE UPDATES)
Having remained not out at 22 in the first ODI that India won by eight wickets, Rayudu scored 73 runs in the subsequent match, which ended in a tie at Visakhapatnam. (LIVE STREAMING)
In the third ODI, which West Indies won by 43 runs to level series 1-1, Rayudu managed to score just 22 runs. However, the best of the 33-year-old righthander's blitzkrieg came in front of the Mumbai crowd as he looked fearless from the start.
After opting to bat, India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan (38) and skipper Virat Kohli (16) early. Vice-captain Rohit Sharma then took the charge of the team at his home ground and slammed a 162-run knock. Rayudu established a 211-run stand with Rohit for the third-wicket partnership to consolidate India's position.
After India's win in Guwahati, Rayudu had earned Kohli's backing for the No. 4 spot. "The only position that we were trying to figure out was No. 4 for a long time, and we tried many players, which unfortunately could not be capitalised [on] or cemented in the way we wanted," Kohli said.
"We were looking at Rayudu for England but some guidelines had to be followed because of which he couldn't make it. He made it to the Asia Cup and the team felt that he is designed to play that middle-order batsman role," he added.