Suresh Raina’s absence in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad had led many in conclusion that the franchise would end up having difficult times in IPL 2020. But Ambati Rayudu’s gritty knock in the season opener against Mumbai Indians (MI) has tapped everyone’s mouth.
Batting at number three which is usually reserved for Raina, he got on the nerves of the bowler with his powerful strokes — and proved that including him in the World Cup 2019 was a big mistake.
When CSK lost two crucial wickets of Shane Watson and Murali Vijay in the first two overs, their chances of win decreased but Ambati Rayudu turned the table. He started rebuilding the innings with Faf du Plessis, who anchored the innings from one end. Rayudu didn’t spare a lousy delivery to send it out of the park.
Before losing his wicket in 16th over, he had already bailed CSK out of trouble, scoring 71 off 48 balls at the strike rate of 147.92. In his match-winning innings, the Indian cricketer also struck six boundaries and three maximums. Eventually, the 2019 runnersup won the match by five wickets against the defending champion.
Training camp in Chennai and Dubai helped him to do better: Ambati Rayudu
At the end of the day, Ambati Rayudu was adjudged with Man of the Match for his excellent performance. While addressing the media, he opined that the training during lockdown helped him to be in rhythm.
The batsman got the assistant of the dew in the match which made his task easier. He also stated that the training camp in Chennai before they started practicing in Dubai had contributed him to do well in the match.
“I kept training in the lockdown. It was a stop-start but I was really eager. When the dew came on batting became much easier. We practiced in Chennai which really helped and then in Dubai as well,” Ambati Rayudu said.
CSK’s training camp in Chennai was blamed for the reason for the spread of coronavirus in their squad. 13 personnel, including two players of CSK, had tested positive of the virus after landing in the UAE. This has led to the extended quarantine of players and delayed their practice sessions in CSK camp.