Why is Ambati Rayudu roaring in IPL 2018?
The aggressive right-hander is arguably having his best IPL season thus far in CSK's yellow jersey
Ambati Rayudu was always considered a great talent in Indian cricket but also somehow managed to fall into the bracket of "potential not fully utilized" as well. Over the years, he has played some terrific innings, albeit sporadically, for Mumbai Indians but has been incredibly consistent in the yellow jersey of Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2018. So what's making him the toast of this season? Let's find out...
One of the key aspects to good T20 batting is adaptability. Be it playing in different conditions or moving up and down the batting order, Ambati Rayudu has possessed that facet in abundance this season. He has excelled while playing either as an opener along with Shane Watson or at No. 4 to accelerate the scoring in the middle overs. Rayudu has been the perfect team man which captain MS Dhoni prefers to have in his side.
Whenever the team has played du Plessis as an opener, Rayudu has given CSK the solidity in the middle order and when Sam Billings is drafted in, Rayudu moves up the order and has so far given electrifying starts. Rayudu's ability to assess conditions and adapt to different match situations has been one of the key reasons for CSK doing very well in the ongoing IPL season.
Pacing the innings
Over the years, Ambati Rayudu would come in and look to go hammer and tongs right from the word go since he has all the shots in the book, off both pace and spin. Without being set, Rayudu had the tendency to play to tee off right from the word go, which was his downfall.
In IPL 2018, Rayudu has played according to the match situation and even his hitting at the top has some method to it. Even after getting wonderful starts, Rayudu is not throwing his wicket away and has been able to go on and make match-winning contributions, which is reflected in his consistency. Therefore, it is no surprise that he is the proud owner of the Orange Cap at the moment.
Picking the bowlers to go after
If you have to be consistent in this format as a batsman, you need to be smart and possess loads of match awareness. Apart from having all the innovative shots to excel in the shortest format, picking the right bowlers to go after at the right time and being selective is exactly what's reaped benefits for Rayudu in this year’s IPL.
Rayudu's 53-ball 82 against RCB at the Chinnaswamy Stadium was a perfect example of how he picked his bowlers to go after. Chennai Super Kings were chasing a daunting 206 to win. Umesh Yadav was breathing fire with the new ball and Virat Kohli, in search of wickets, decided to use Umesh's entire quota of 4 overs upfront. Rayudu knew the plan and parked his ego to play out the fast bowler's last over. He then took on other bowlers which went a long way in CSK chasing down the score.