Mumbai: Rest of India batsman Ambati Rayudu, who cracked an unbeaten 118 against Mumbai, is happy with the way his batting is shaping up but said he needs to convert the fifties into hundreds. "Rest of my career I need to convert those fifties I think. I have lot more fifties than hundreds. It is 27. The ratio should go up. Hopefully it will go up in the next half of my career," he told reporters here.
Rayudu notched up his 14th first-class century on Saturday, while playing his first Irani Cup match and he said, "I threw it away in the first innings, so I was just thinking to make sure to keep batting no matter how many runs I get. To be honest I have had a very quality season. It is not that I am disappointed. I am obviously disappointed that I haven't got big hundreds as such but the crucial innings I have played in difficult conditions, I am happy with the way I am shaping up and my batting. Hopefully now the innings will come," he added.
On his move from Hyderabad to Baroda, Rayudu said, "It is not about the move from Hyderabad to Bardoda as such, being with people like Robin Singh and our coach Sanath Kumar, that really helped me grow as a batsman and get my mind right. It is more of that which has helped me."
Asked how this knock would augur for him, with the selectors meeting on Sunday to decide the squad for the Australia series, he said, "I don't know. I haven't actually thought about it. I am just happy with the way I am batting."
On the wicket, Rayudu said, "It started to turn but there is enough bounce in the wicket for fast bowlers. I think they were getting movement in the air in the first session, maybe because of the moisture in the wicket. After lunch, I don't think they would have got the same purchase. So I think maybe that is the reason they (Shardul Thakur and Dhawal Kulkarni) didn't come."
Meanwhile, Mumbai pace spearhead Dhawal Kulkarni said after his side missed a few chances in the morning when there was help for the bowlers, it was a question of containing the run-flow. "In the morning we missed some chances which happens, after that we were trying to contain the runs," said Kulkarni who troubled Murali Vijay and Manoj Tiwary during a fine morning spell of 8 overs for no wicket.
Kulkarni, who did not bowl after lunch, said the spinners were there to restrict the flow of runs and there was not much for the pacers after the morning session. "I was not needed to bowl after lunch as the spinners were containing the run-flow. After the early morning movement, it's a good wicket to bat on."
Kulkarni praised the batting of Rayudu who remained unbeaten with a chanceless 118 in a team total of 296 for 4 at stumps after adding 140 runs with Tiwary for the third wicket to pull the Rest second innings around from a shaky 67 for 3. "They really batted well. Rayudu's partnership (of 140 for the 4th wicket) with Manoj was crucial. He batted very well. I appreciate his performance," said the Mumbai pacer.
Asked about the absence of teammate and senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar from the field for the entire day after scoring a brilliant 140 not out yesterday, Kulkarni said there was nothing wrong with him. "Sachin is perfectly fine," he said.
Tendulkar would not be able to bat higher than no. 7 if Mumbai bat again in the game on the final day on Sunday. Rest were 413 ahead overall after taking a handy 117-run first innings lead.
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