India vs West Indies: Rohit Sharma hopes Ambati Rayudu has solved No 4 mystery; praises pacer Khaleel Ahmed

Ambati Rayudu scored 81-ball 100 and rookie left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed grabbed three wickets as India defeated Windies by 224 runs in the fourth ODI in Mumbai.

Press Trust of India, October 30, 2018

India's Rohit Sharma Monday said the 81-ball 100 by Ambati Rayudu will remove any doubts that he is the ideal number four in the run-up to next year's World Cup in England.

Rohit and Rayudu smashed hundreds to lay the ground for India's 224-run rout of the West Indies in the fourth and penultimate ODI at the Brabourne Stadium.

Amabti Rayudu scored 81-ball 100 batting at No 4 in Mumbai ODI. AP

Amabti Rayudu scored 81-ball 100 batting at No 4 in Mumbai ODI. AP

"I think (it's a) very important (knock). Hopefully he has solved all the mysteries of number 4. I guess till the World Cup, there won't be any talk of number 4," said Sharma in the post-match media conference.

Sharma led the way with his whirlwind innings of 162 and Rayudu played the ideal foil with a knock of 100, the two adding 211 runs to power India to an imposing 377 for five. West Indies were bowled out for 153 with rookie left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed grabbing three wickets.

"He (Rayudu) batted brilliantly because at that point a big partnership was needed and it was a perfect platform for him also to showcase what he's got. There was pressure, of course, losing top two batsmen and building a partnership was important. So it was a pressure innings and I thought he responded well to that situation."

Sharma's 21st ODI century came off 137 balls with the help of 20 fours and four hits over the fence, while Rayudu decorated his 100-run knock with eight boundaries and four sixes.

"He batted freely, once he got to 50 he started playing shots. We have known Rayudu for a long time and he can produce innings like this. That's probably the reason we got him at number four and he has not disappointed.

"Whatever opportunities he has got since Asia Cup in this series he has grabbed it with both hands," added Sharma.

The Mumbaikar also hailed Ahmed and said he could be handy in conditions helpful to swing bowling like in New Zealand and England during the World Cup.

"Khaleel is a promising prospect. With a left-arm seamer you always have that edge. And the way Khaleel swung the ball today, he would have troubled any batsmen. He is maturing pretty fast.

"The World Cup is still a long way off with lots of games remaining and I wouldn't say spots have been guaranteed to anyone. I hope he continues to do well. We are playing in New Zealand and then the World Cup in England where the ball swings a lot. He could be quite handy there," said Sharma.

About his own knock, Sharma said he never thought of completing a double hundred like he had thrice earlier in his ODI career although Rayudu at the other end reminded him that he was capable.

"I never thought of a double hundred. I just wanted to make sure to get as many runs as possible and get the team into a good position. Rayudu told me that you have got a good chance for a double. The CCI can be tricky in terms of chasing and our bowlers did well in getting them out," he remarked.

Updated Date: Oct 30, 2018







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