KNOW YOUR LIONS
“I have played against Chennai Super Kings on numerous occasions and there was never a more important match than that for Mumbai Indians,” recollected Ambati Rayudu, who will turn out in Yellow jersey in the 2018 VIVO Indian Premier League season after having spent the previous years in Blue.
“Both are champion teams. Very different philosophies but the bottom line is to be champions,” added the 32-year-old middle-order batsman, who was a part of all three IPL-winning MI sides.
“If there was one team that could beat MI even when they were playing at their best, that was CSK. CSK always appeared very calm and composed and they always had a clear mindset and backed themselves,” continued Rayudu.
The Lions won the IPL twice, finished runners-up on four occasions and qualified to the Playoffs in every season between 2008 and 2015 to emerge as one of the most successful franchises in the opening decade.
“CSK always had their path figured out to be successful,” he further said.
Rayudu built a reputation of being a dangerous floater owing to his clean striking of the ball and cool approach. He tallied over 330 runs each in five out of eight seasons that he turned out for the Mumbai franchise since his IPL debut in 2010.
A useful stopgap wicket-keeper and a fine fielder, Rayudu also scored over 250 runs in two other seasons, underlining his overall consistency with the bat.
“MS Dhoni is a true legend of the game and arguably the best captain our country has produced,” said Rayudu, who played under the celebrated skipper for India.
“What I feel makes him such a great leader, other than his calm and composed nature under pressure, is his simplicity and good nature as a human being which automatically makes all the team members trust him and his decisions blindly and give more than 100 per cent for him and the team,” he concluded.
The 2018 season kicks off on April 7 with CSK taking on defending champions MI at the Wankhede Stadium.
“Rayudu brings with him tremendous experience as a consistent performer for MI over eight seasons,” said KS Viswanathan, CEO, Chennai Super Kings. “He is quick to adjust to any situation as a floater.”