The recently-concluded 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has come to an end. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) star batter Ambati Rayudu, who was part of CSK’s four match-winning seasons hung his boots for the Yellow Jersey. After his retirement, former India batter Aakash Chopra recalled the early career of the CSK veteran who was considered the next Sachin Tendulkar.
During India’s tour to West Indies, a 16-year-old Ambati Rayudu was picked in the hope that he will be the next Sachin Tendulkar. “He was selected with the hope that he will be the next Sachin Tendulkar, that boy is extremely talented. He is like the prodigy, that could bat, fields extremely well, and could bowl too,” he said on his YouTube channel.
Chopra then revealed how the senior players in the team including the then coach Ashok Malhotra were given special instructions to take care of the teenager. Though then captain VVS Laxman was impressed by Rayudu’s skills, the CSK star was included in the XI based on making a proper team combination.
As the team didn’t have an off-spinner, Rayudu was given the role to bowl off-spin which he found troublesome. According to Chopra, “The poor guy got to bat very low in the order and he was asked to bowl off-spin in between, which the poor guy was unable to do.”
Ambati Rayudu made his debut for India in an ODI match against Zimbabwe in 2013 and went on to feature in 55 ODIs, scoring 1694 runs at an average of 47.05. In T20Is, the CSK veteran played just six games scoring 42 runs. He got the chance to bowl in nine ODIs where he could bag three wickets.
Rayudu is a six-time IPL champion. Before joining CSK, he played the first three seasons for the Mumbai Indians (MI) and lifted one trophy with them. He has played 204 IPL matches and amassed 4348 runs at a strike rate of 127.54.
Gouri Das is a cricket writer at FirstSportz. Despite always being a sporty kid, she disliked being inactive in one place for a long time to watch a match. But after the Ind vs Pak match of the 2016 Asia Cup, she rather got glued to the TV screen. That year she watched the major cricket tournaments, WWE matches, and the Olympics (especially Usain Bolt's races). After reading about the big names in tennis and becoming an ardent follower, she dreams of visiting Wimbledon one day.
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