Ambati Rayudu has been a part of the IPL for a long time. If not for the controversial Indian Cricket League, Rayudu would have been a part of a rare group of players who have been apart of the IPL from its inception. With anger issues in the past, and fitness now, his contributions continue to go under the radar.
His batting positions this season are an indicator of how Ambati Rayudu is often used in the team. He has come in at various stages of the game with players like Dube given the chance to go above him. Even in his latest heist, Ambati Rayudu came in and quickly found his groove. He cleared the fence with ease and kept Chennai in the game with his 79. His knock highlights his consistency this season as Ambati Rayudu has now gone past 40 in his last three games.
He has been adaptable throughout this season and barring his stamina, Ambati Rayudu hasn’t gone too bad. Over the last four years, Ambati Rayudu has emerged as one of Chennai’s most dependable and useful players. There has been a handful of knocks which stand out from him such as his 70 odd against Mumbai last season and his exploits in the opening game against Mumbai in IPL 2020.
In IPL 2020, with Suresh Raina absent, Ambati Rayudu stepped up and tried batting with a little more intent up the order. He ended up displacing Raina in 2021, batting above him on a number of occasions. His first two years for CSK though were just brilliant. Coming to the Chennai Super Kings after a long stint at the Mumbai Indians, Ambati Rayudu displayed immense flexibility.
He started the season as an opener, briefly held the orange cap, and once Faf Du Plessis was available Rayudu dropped down to four, donning the role of a finisher. He was eager and successful in both roles, finding runs with ease and finished with 602 runs. He was easily Chennai’s best batter that season, and his run of form made him a valuable player for the Chennai Super Kings for the next few years.
With the ability to bat through the innings when needed and switch gears, Ambati Rayudu has shown his style of batting. He did struggle a touch in 2021, but was one of the bright spots in a disastrous season during 2020.
Often though, Chennai’s batting success talks about the exploits of players like Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis and sometimes Ravindra Jadeja. Ambati Rayudu has not been far behind though. He is an integral member of the side, and has some incredible IPL numbers of his own. In four and a half seasons, he has 170+ runs and has made 246 runs in eight games this season alone. He is among the leading run-scorers for Chennai this year, and has a lot of experience in the IPL with 4162 runs behind him.
Rather silent on the field and not to flashy, Ambati Rayudu’s aura often leaves him in the shadow, leading to many forgetting his exploits in the IPL. Even in his days the Mumbai Indians he was as crucial a player as the likes of Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. He moved around the batting line-up a lot back then and also donned the keeping gloves when Mumbai lacked a decent keeper who could bat.
He has been a superstar throughout his IPL career, and his career in general is one that makes people wonder if it really happened and if there could have been more considering it was rather silent and short.
Coming back to this season, Ambati Rayudu has been in great form, is one of Chennai’s better batters, and has also taken possibly the catch of the tournament. With six more games to go, CSK will need Rayudu to continue his run of form, and after the recent innings he may finally get a few more chances up the order, giving him time to explode.