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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Sports

Rayudu takes Tiwary's spot

Injured India batsman Manoj Tiwary has been replaced in the India squad for the Twenty20s against England by Ambati Rayudu. Tiwary's injury was diagnosed as a side strain. He had picked up the injury, which will keep him out of action for six weeks, during a Ranji Trophy game on Sunday, while batting in Bengal's first innings against Saurashtra.

Rayudu, who has played for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy since the 2010-11 season, has had a prolific run this year, with scores of 64, 85, 10, 54, 1, 131 and 58 in his previous five games. A bit-hitting middle-order batsman, Rayudu did not have too much success on his last Twenty20 assignment: October's Champions League T20, where he played for Mumbai Indians. But in IPL 2012, he was Mumbai Indians second-highest scorer behind Rohit Sharma, with 333 runs from 15 innings at a strike-rate of 132.14. He is yet to debut for India across formats.

For Tiwary, who captains Bengal in the Ranji Trophy, this is a second setback in quick succession -- he had suffered a wrist problem earlier in the season. When fit, he had shown some good form, scoring 191 against Gujarat, and also making 93 against England for the Board President's XI last month.

India play two Twenty20s against England, on December 20 and 22, and that is followed up by limited-overs series' against Pakistan running into the first week of January. Later in January, England return for a one-day series.

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