Batsman blow opens door to Rayadu
Manoj Tiwary has been ruled out of India's two pre-Christmas Twenty20 internationals against England because of a side strain.
The batsman suffered the injury while on domestic duty for Bengal at the weekend and is not likely to return for six weeks. India have given Tiwary's place in the squad to Ambati Rayudu, an uncapped batsman who scored 333 runs for Mumbai Indians in this year's IPL. Rayudu, who has played for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy since the 2010-11 season, has been a prolific run-scorer in domestic cricket with scores of 64, 85, 10, 54, 1, 131 and 58 in his previous seven innings. The big-hitting middle-order batsman did not make much of an impact on the Champions League in South Africa in October - where his top score was 15 against Yorkshire. But the 27-year-old was Mumbai Indians second-highest scorer behind Rohit Sharma in this year's IPL with 333 runs from 15 innings at a strike-rate of 132.14. Touted as as India's next great batting hope as a teenager, Rayadu lost his way amid some off-field problems and only came back onto the selectors radar when he accepted the BCCI's amnesty offer in 2009 and cancelled his contract with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League.