Former India batter Ambati Rayudu went on a trip down the memory lane about his career in the Indian Premier League (IPL), saying his time with Mumbai Indians was a great journey, but found his time at Chennai Super Kings more special.
Rayudu made his IPL debut in 2010 with the Mumbai Indians and played for the side till the 2017 edition, winning three titles with them in 2013, 2015 and 2017. He was then roped in by CSK ahead of the 2018 season.
In that edition, Rayudu had his best season with the bat, amassing 602 runs in 16 innings at an average of 43, including his highest individual score of 100 not out, as the side won the trophy after serving a two-year suspension due to involvement of a key official in spot-fixing and betting.
He then was a member of CSK team winning IPL 2021 and 2023 titles before retiring from the league once the franchise won over Gujarat Titans in the last season’s rain-hit finale at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
"I would remember myself as being very flexible in a team environment. I would bat open as well as in the middle order and lower middle order. That is one area where I take a lot of pride in, contributing to the team, and I cherish that aspect a lot in my career."
“Of course, I played eight years for them. I started my IPL career with Mumbai. It was a great journey, and we won three IPLs and two Champions League trophies. We had great times,” said Rayudu on The Ranveer Show podcast aired on YouTube.
Talking about his time at CSK, Rayudu went on to say, "Going to CSK was even more special, but it was very weird to sit in another dressing room, put on yellow pads instead of blue, and face Mumbai, who was practicing just two wickets away from me.”
“It was like a whole flashback going on in my head, recalling what we used to do every day. From then on, yeah, I got used to being in CSK." The former right-handed batter also talked on a length about MS Dhoni’s legacy as a leader in Indian cricket and IPL.
"Everybody knows that he has brought the best out the best in so many players and across formats, even he has brought out the best in many foreigners that have played for CSK. I think he has it in him. I don't even know how to express it because he is either blessed or he has cultivated it over so many years of playing the sport."
"But many times I wonder why is he doing something which I wouldn't think is appropriate. But end of the day, results show that he was right and he's right 99.9 percent of the times, that shows he knows what he is doing and he has done it for such a long time and so successfully that I don't think anybody in Indian cricket is in a position to question his decisions now because he's been so successful."