For Ambati Rayudu, life in the cricketing lanes has never been too smooth. He is included in the squad, scores runs and then for some reason is left out. After a stellar performance in the IPL, he was included in the England tour, then failed the mandatory yo-yo test and had to cool his heels back home.

However, he regained the stipulated fitness and made his way into the Indian team for the Asia Cup, scored runs and drew praise from Virat Kohli. For the number 4 position, Kohli has earmarked Rayudu and has spoken highly of his worth in the team and this series could be make or break for him. This could put pressure on him, but the right-hander is not thinking too far ahead.

'Focused on this series at the moment'

Ambati Rayudu India
Ambati Rayudu is crucial for India in the middle orderReuters

"To be very honest, I am just focused on this series at the moment. I am not really thinking too far ahead. It is not a new role as I have been batting in the middle order for long. There is nothing new that they have asked me to do" said Rayudu, who made a comeback into the Indian team at the Asia Cup after a gap of two years.

Speaking about his fitness and the bearing it had on him after he failed the fitness test, Rayudu said that the process has always been the same.

"I don't think yo-yo test had any bearing on how was I preparing or how I was going about my fitness. I have been working on my fitness right from an earlier injury. Even now I go to the NCA if there is a small pocket of free time may be for a week. I am happy that I cleared the test," Rayudu added.

India play 17 ODIs before the next World Cup and the middle order slots are up for grabs and Virat Kohli has conceded that players need to step up and be counted.

"The only position we were trying to figure out was number four for a long time. We tried many players who unfortunately could not capitalise or cement their places in a way we wanted," Kohli had said before the first match of the series.