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New Zealand vs India: Ambati Rayudu leaves MS Dhoni behind despite scoring only 13 runs in Napier

Rayudu batted at number four in this game.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian skipper Virat Kohli brought about a couple of changes in his playing XI for the 1st ODI against New Zealand, which included the recall of Ambati Rayudu and Kuldeep Yadav after both the players were rested in the third and final ODI against Australia.

Rayudu, who came in the team in place of Dinesh Karthik, remained unbeaten on 13 after facing 23 deliveries. And while that was nothing extraordinary, he managed to create a record out of it by going past MS Dhoni as the batsman with the highest average in successful run-chases in ODIs with a criteria of minimum 15 minutes batting.

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The game as it unfolded 

Team India took only 34.5 overs to overhaul the revised target of 156 runs after excessive sunshine saw the play being paused for a while. Rohit Sharma couldn’t provide the team with a solid start, departing for just 11 runs. While Dhawan held on to the crease, Virat Kohli missed another one of his centuries by 5 runs. After Kohli’s wicket, Rayudu came to bat and along with Shikhar took India home without another batsman being dismissed.

In that process, Ambati Rayudu became the batsman with the highest average in successful run-chases (103.33), ahead of MS Dhoni (103.07) and Virat Kohli (96.94). For the soon approaching 2019 World Cup, Rayudu’s place in the Indian team is in direct competition with Dinesh Karthik and Kedar. Kohli has been rotating the middle order continuously and it will be interesting to see who gets the final nod.

Having made his ODI debut in 2013, Rayudu has featured in 48 ODIs, from which he has 1484 runs at an average of 49.46. Rayudu was part of India’s squad in the 2015 World Cup, but did not get a game. The following year he was not part of India’s World T20 squad. It remains to be seen if the management gives him a go in the quadrennial event beginning in June in England.

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