Mumbai: A number of important partnership with Sachin Tendulkar has allowed young Ambati Rayudu to develop a special bond with the legend and he is cherishing every moment of it.
"I am learning something or the other every day from Sachin Sir. Seeing him in the middle, he makes things so easy for me while batting. It`s a great experience. I am getting better every day as a batsman," said the youngster who is the second-highest run-getter for his team in the T20 League with 290 runs after Tendulkar’s tally of 351 from 9 games.
He also thanked MI coach Robin Singh for working on his approach and mind-set.
Speak about his `mentor` Tendulkar and Rayudu would tell you some of the most invaluable tips he has received from the iconic batsman.
"To keep it simple and just stick to the basics. That`s one thing I have learnt from him. Just to watch the ball and play on its merit," said Rayudu who has had two century and 95 run partnership with Tendulkar.
"We have a very good understanding in running between the wickets," he added.
Although T20 calls for a lot of improvisation, the Hyderabadi lad is more comfortable playing the conventional cricketing shots.
"As a player, I am more comfortable playing conventional shots. Conventional shots come instinctively."
He has no problems with standing behind the stumps.
"I am pretty comfortable with whatever team feels is best."
He is certainly in the reckoning for a berth in the national squad for the tour to Caribbean but Rayudu doesn`t want his focus to get wavered.
"I am really looking forward to playing for India one day. Hopefully, I will continue to do well and get better as a batsman and cricketer and play for India. Right now I am focussed on doing well for Mumbai Indians," Rayudu said at a pre-match media conference.
The 25-year-old batsman has switched his allegiance from Hyderabad to Baroda in Ranji Trophy from last season.
Looking ahead to Saturday`s clash with Delhi Daredevils at the Wankhede Stadium, Rayudu said his team would stick to their gameplan and not worry about the rival team though it included a game-changer in captain Virender Sehwag.
"I think we are really focusing on what we want to do rather than the opposition. We are having a good tournament and would like it to continue, sticking to the basics," he said while conceding Sehwag`s would be the key wicket.
"It will be very crucial as everyone knows, hopefully we will get him early," he said.
Rayudu said the key to the team`s good performance has been sticking to its own gameplan.
"Key to our superb performance has been sticking to our plans. In every match, we try and follow a plan. We are happy with the way our batting bowling and fielding is progressing. We would like to stick to our gameplan."
Asked about the race to the play-offs, Rayudu said many teams were bunched at the top and MI`s focus was to keep their winning momentum going.
"Many teams are really close at the top on points we would like to really play hard every match and hopefully continue winning," he said.