Gautam Gambhir Believes Ambati Rayudu Has Been CSK's Standout Player
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Gautam Gambhir Believes Ambati Rayudu Has Been CSK’s Standout Player

Ambati Rayudu is a key player in the CSK middle order [P/C: iplt20.com]
Ambati Rayudu is a key player in the CSK middle order [P/C: iplt20.com]

Gautam Gambhir believes CSK’s middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu has been the Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) standout player ever since he joined the franchise.

Ambati Rayudu scored an unbeaten 55 off 43 deliveries in last night’s IPL 2021 encounter between the two top teams in IPL 2021, CSK, and the Delhi Capitals (DC). However, the knock went in vain as the Rishabh Pant-led side chased down the 137-run target to go atop the Indian Premier League points table.

Ambati Rayudu smashed a half-century for CSK against DC [P/C: iplt20.com]
Ambati Rayudu smashed a half-century for CSK against DC [P/C: iplt20.com]

Gautam Gambhir Believes Ambati Rayudu Has Been The Player Of The Franchise Since Joining CSK

Gautam Gambhir was effusive in his praise for Ambati Rayudu for delivering the best at any position in the CSK’s batting order.

“I believe Ambati Rayudu has been the player of the franchise since he joined CSK. He scored runs when he opened or played at No.3 or No.4, he has delivered in whichever position he has played. It is very difficult when your batting order is being shuffled but despite that the way he bats,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

The former India opener Gautam Gambhir highlighted that Ambati Rayudu has been CSK’s unsung hero.

“He had an impact when he used to open with Watson, today he is playing at No.4 and he has a similar impact. We might talk about Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and the others, but he has probably been the player of the franchise in the last three-four years,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Ambati Rayudu has scored 1495 runs at an impressive average of 35.59 and an equally good strike of 130.11 in the 58 matches he has played for CSK. But, more than the numbers, the 36-year-old has made telling contributions in crunch situations and was one of the star performers in the franchise’s title-winning run in 2018. He has scored 3911 runs in 172 matches averaging 29.85, and has one century and 21 fifties beside his name.

Ajit Agarkar: Ambati Rayudu’s Form Is Necessary As There’s A Lot Of Dependency On Faf du Plessis And Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ajit Agarkar pointed out that Ambati Rayudu being in form is crucial for CSK as the team is over dependant on Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad. While Ruturaj Gaikwad has amassed 521 runs and is 2nd highest run-getter so far, Faf du Plessis is the 5th highest run-scorer with 470 runs. Ambati Rayudu has managed 252 runs averaging 36.

“His form is extremely necessary because there is a lot of dependency on Faf du Plessis and Gaikwad at the moment. When they don’t score runs, they don’t post a big total. So this innings will certainly help,” said Ajit Agarkar.

Ajit Agarkar Photo: AFP
Ajit Agarkar Photo: AFP

While acknowledging that Ravindra Jadeja is the in-form player down the order, the former India pacer signed off by stating that Ambati Rayudu needs to carry the middle order in the fag end of the IPL 2021.

“He also struggled in the beginning but the acceleration he gave helped them get a good finish. Jadeja is definitely scoring runs but he comes down the order. The players who come at No.3, 4 and 5, their role becomes huge when your openers get out, so the middle order being in form at the business end of the tournament is necessary,” said Ajit Agarkar.

CSK will be slightly concerned due to the lack of runs from middle-order batsman Suresh Raina and skipper MS Dhoni’s willows. Ambati Rayudu being amongst the runs should hold them in good stead.

In the CSK-DC match, CSK could score only 136/5 after being 62/4 in the 9th over. Ambati Rayudu scored 55 off 43 and remained unbeaten. His knock was studded with 5 fours and 2 sixes. Axar Patel took 2 wickets, conceding only 18 runs. DC eventually won by 3 wickets in a tense finish despite losing regular wickets.

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