IPL 2019: "Dhoni trusted me & I always wanted to repay the faith," says Ambati Rayudu
Indian batsman Ambati Rayudu has had a memorable 2018 as he moved to a new IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings, won them the IPL title by scoring runs on a consistent basis, got a call-up to the national team on the virtue of his IPL performances and even went on to cement the troublesome number 4 spot in the ODI side, that has been the weak link for the Indian side for the last few years.
Currently, he is preparing himself for the upcoming three-match ODI series against the Australia Down Under and amidst his practice sessions, he took part in the Press briefing on the Junior Super Kings Inter-School T20 championship 2018 and unveiled the trophy and the jerseys.
He also addressed the media on the sidelines of the event and discussed various things. Here are the excerpts:
Last year, you had a great IPL and made a comeback into the Indian team. How was the whole experience you?
Definitely, I mean. Dhoni bhai trusted me and I always wanted to repay the faith he had in me. I worked on my game and I am happy that I was able to make the most of the opportunities I got.
Your approach and the shot selection have become a lot more aggressive. Did that help you in coming back to the Indian team?
Playing aggressively and playing aggressively with confidence, both are entirely different. Whenever you have the belief, you can go out there and express yourself. Once people back you, you can always express yourself.
What is the thought process behind your retirement from first-class cricket?
The only thought process behind it is to preserve my body as much as possible. I am 33 and had surgery to my knee in the past. I really wanted to make efficient use of my body in terms of the amount of games I play in a year.
Do you lose out on match practice by doing so?
Definitely, match practice is important. But, red ball cricket and white ball cricket have a huge amount of difference in the way you shape up and play. You can compensate for it by practising and playing other games.
You have cemented the number 4 slot in the ODI side. Do you think that it is the ideal place for you in the XI? Now that you are not playing any competitive cricket, how do you train?
I am not looking at any number as such. I am just preparing for the upcoming series against Australia. I am not thinking too far beyond. As far as my training is concerned, I just look at my game and look at where I can improve and go about it.
This is your first overseas series after the tour of Zimbabwe in 2016. The Australian attack is one of the best. How are you preparing for it? Are you practising a lot of backfoot play?
International cricket in itself is a challenge. I am preparing the way I should and the way I know.