Hyderabad's Ambati Rayudu is known to be an emotional player. The middle-order Indian batsman in July had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
After his initial World Cup snub, Rayudu had expressed his displeasure and also questioned the selectors' decision to pick Shankar over him with a tweet that mocked a statement by head selector M.S.K. Prasad who had said that "Vijay Shankar gives three dimensions" to the team. "Just ordered a new set of 3-D glasses to watch the World Cup," Rayudu had tweeted in response.
After his retirement, he was unavailable and his usually busy social media handles also did not have anything. He was spending time alone on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
However, according to a report by TNIE, when CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan called Rayudu, he was reminded that there was enough cricket left in him and asked him to reconsider his decision and continue his association with the CSK franchise. In less than a month after that phone call, Rayudu was there to play in the IPL. On Day 1 of IPL between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, Rayudu proved himself.
Chennai coach Stephen Fleming was quoted saying to the daily, "Rayudu has been an emotional player throughout the years for us. He has been nothing short of fantastic. Again he turned the game around. His experience and also his skill set, was a major part for us to win today.”
The 34-year-old walked at No 4 when the three-time champions found themselves in a hole at 6/2. Rayudu smashed a 48-ball 71 to guide Chennai Super Kings to a comprehensive five-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the opening match of the 13th IPL in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Chasing 163 to win, Rayudu blasted six fours and three sixes in his blistering innings, while Faf du Plessis cracked 58 off 44 balls as CSK romped home with four balls to spare.