India vs Zimbabwe: Striking stat - 63

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 25, 2013 07:07 hrs

Ambati Rayudu has been an India prospect for a long, long time. Having made his first class debut at the age of 16, the only surprise is that it took him more than 11 years to wear the India cap.

An ill-fated tryst with the ICL did him no favours but it's not too late for Rayudu, who is still only 27, to maximise his potential. Going by his performance on debut, he's determined to make up for lost time.

There were a few eyebrows raised when Rayudu was picked in the playing XI ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara, another man knocking furiously on the door of India's ODI team.

Walking in at No.4 after India lost two early wickets, he motored along to a composed fifty off just 74 balls and savoured the pleasure of stroking the winning runs.

Rayudu's unbeaten 63 was the seventh highest on ODI debut by an Indian but he was the only one of the seven to remain unbeaten.

Had India not finished off the game with 31 balls to spare, he could have challenged the man in the numero uno position - Robin Uthappa who smashed 86 on debut against England at Indore in 2006.

Uthappa, who is almost the same age as Rayudu, went on to play 38 ODIs but could not better that score.

The Coorg lad last played for India five years ago and his ODI average is a disappointing 27.1.

But Rayudu, having waited for his place rather than receiving it on a platter, is unlikely to rest on his laurels.

More from Sify: