Ambati Rayudu’s retirement from first-class cricket before the start of the Ranji season would leave him short of match practice ahead of India’s ODI series against Australia and New Zealand.

Rayudu’s decision to quit Ranji Trophy and play ODIs and IPL raised a few eyebrows. But he explained it’s to manage to his workload.

“The only thought process was to preserve my body as far as possible. I am 33. I have had surgery to my knee in the past. I really wanted to make efficient use of my body in terms of the amount of cricket I play,” Rayudu said on the sidelines of launch of the Junior Super Kings inter-school T20 championship 2018.

About not having enough match-practice ahead of the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand, he said: “No, I mean, definitely match practice is important. Anyway, red ball cricket and white ball cricket, there is a huge amount of difference. You can compensate by practicing and playing other games.”

While skipper Virat Kohli said that the team management is looking at Rayudu as a No 4 option going into the World Cup, the latter doesn’t have a preference.

“I am basically not looking at any number as such. I am preparing for the series coming up in Australia. I am not really thinking too far beyond. As far as my training is concerned, I just look at my game and look at where I can improve and go about it,” Rayudu said.

Rayudu returned to the national team after making over 600 runs for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in this year’s IPL. He said the CSK skipper MS Dhoni trusted him and he wanted to repay the faith in him.

“Definitely... Dhoni bhai trusted me and I always wanted to repay the faith he had in me. I worked on my game and I am happy that I could make most of the opportunities I got,” he added.