Harare, July 25: Ambati Rayudu thanked Sachin Tendulkar and Robin Singh for helping him during his tough days of waiting to wear the India cap. Rayudu was part of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and played several matches with Tendulkar.
It was a memorable debut for Rayudu here on Wednesday (July 24). The right-hander hit an unbeaten 63 and took India to victory over Zimbabwe in the company of captain Virat Kohli.
"Sachin (Tendulkar) and Robin Singh especially. They've helped me a lot, and I'd definitely like to thank them for that," Rayudu said after the match. Robin was Mumbai Indians' coach. The franchise won this year's IPL title, defeating Chennai Super Kings.
"I always had the belief that if I could get things right and I could get my mind right I could make it into the team one day, and I'm really happy that I got my chance today," he added.
The 27-year-old Rayudu scored an 84-ball 63 and was involved in a 159-run partnership for the third wicket with Kohli. India successfully chased 229 in 44.5 overs.
"It feels marvellous. It's been pretty emotional. More than nervous, I was very emotional," he said.
Rayudu praised his Kohli, who made 115. "I think he's playing the best cricket possible. I definitely feel that he's the best in the world right now in the one-day format. He made it a lot easier for me, and I was just looking at the way he was constructing his innings. It's a very good learning experience," Rayudu, who plays for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, said.
"My family, my friends and especially the Mumbai Indians support staff (have been there for me)," Rayudu said.