Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu (Image Credit: Twitter)

When Chennai Super Kings captured their fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title in 2021, Ambati Rayudu was one of the players who played a key role in Men in Yellow’s domination.

Rayudu is one of the most successful players in the IPL, having been part of the trophy-winning sides on five occasions (2013, 2015, 2017 with Mumbai Indians and 2018, 2021 with Chennai Super Kings).

When we talk about Twenty20 cricket, teams often look to include players who can make an immediate impact on the outcome of the games. One such player who has consistently made an impact, not only in the last edition of the IPL but throughout the world’s best league, is right-handed batsman Rayudu.

One of the key features of Rayudu’s batting is his ability to score at a brisk pace, which is the most important thing in IPL. Rayudu scored 257 runs in 13 innings for CSK in 2021 at an impressive strike rate of 151.17. A batter who strikes at 150-plus is a fine asset to any team.

Rayudu’s strike rate of 151.17 was CSK’s highest among the team’s batters who had scored 100 or more runs in the 2021 edition. Overall, his strike rate was seventh-best in IPL 14.

Talking about his strike rate, overall, Rayudu was devastating during the death overs. He had the second-best strike rate during the death overs (16-20) in 2021.

During the death overs, Rayudu scored at two runs per ball (Strike Rate of 200). In the phase between 16 and 20 overs in IPL 2021, Rayudu blitzed 128 runs off 64 balls with 9 fours and 10 sixes. He smashed more sixes (17) than fours (16) in 2021.

His 10 sixes in the death overs were the second-most by any batter in that phase in IPL 2021. It was an incredible sight for the fans to watch Rayudu smashing the white cherry to all parts of the ground. Not just CSK supporters but his teammates too enjoyed Rayudu’s batting exploits.

One more standout performance of Rayudu’s IPL career is him featuring among very few batters who have won the game for their team by hitting a six off the last ball of the contest. Rayudu had achieved the feat for Mumbai Indians in 2012.

With 149 sixes and 324 fours under his belt in IPL career, Rayudu is also on the cusp of a major personal milestone – 4,000 runs. So far, Rayudu has accumulated 3,916 runs (1 hundred, 21 fifties, 35 thirties) from 175 matches (164 innings) since 2010.

Rayudu holds the record for the most number of sixes (70) by a CSK batsman since the team’s return to the IPL in 2018. In 2018 title triumph, he topped CSK’s scoring charts with 602 runs. Overall, he is in fourth position in CSK’s top six-hitting batsmen list. Such an incredible feat this!

Prior to dazzling in the yellow jersey for CSK, Rayudu was an invaluable asset for the Men in Blue – Mumbai Indians. He is still the third-highest run-getter for Mumbai with 2,416 runs from 107 innings (114 matches). He was with the franchise between 2010 and 2017.

The strike of 151.17 in 2021 was Rayudu’s best-ever in the history of IPL. This indicates that he has only gotten better with each edition of the league. He would be itching to get back on the field in 2022 and continue his rich ball-striking form.

Another advantage for a team with the experienced Rayudu is that he bats anywhere in the order. This has helped the side’s cause as the team he has played in has qualified for playoffs in 10 out of 11 seasons.

As a new season of IPL and the players’ auction beckons, franchises would love to welcome a batter like Rayudu who is tailormade for the format. With two more new teams in the fray, no franchise would like to miss signing out a highly impactful player like Rayudu.

A proven performer, Rayudu has always let the bat do the talking.