Ambati Rayudu, the Chennai Super Kings’ star batter, has announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League (IPL). The final of the 2023 edition against Gujarat Titans marks the end of his illustrious journey in the tournament. Rayudu has been an essential part of the IPL since 2010, winning five titles and making significant contributions to both the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings franchises.
Early Career and Association with Mumbai Indians
Ambati Rayudu began his IPL career with the Mumbai Indians in 2010. His first taste of success in the tournament came in 2013 when he lifted the title with the franchise. Rayudu played all matches in the season and went on to win two more titles with Mumbai Indians in 2015 and 2017.
An interesting fact about Rayudu’s early career is that he missed the first two years of IPL due to his association with the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Nevertheless, he made a strong comeback and became an integral part of the Mumbai Indians’ team under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy.
Move to Chennai Super Kings and the MS Dhoni Factor
In 2018, Rayudu moved to Chennai Super Kings, where he further developed his reputation as a power-hitter. Under the guidance of MS Dhoni, Rayudu enjoyed some of his best strike rates in the IPL. In his debut season with CSK, Rayudu scored at a strike rate of 149.75 when the team lifted the title in 2018.
During his time with CSK, Rayudu played a crucial role in the team’s success. He was part of the winning team in 2021 as well, hitting at a strike rate of 151.17 in 16 matches. Throughout his journey with CSK, Rayudu has been a reliable middle-order batsman, showcasing his ability to take the team across the finish line on numerous occasions.
A Rollercoaster of Retirement Announcements
Rayudu’s career has seen a fair share of retirement announcements and subsequent U-turns. In 2019, he announced his retirement from all cricket after being snubbed for the 2019 ODI World Cup. However, he later returned to domestic and IPL cricket.
In 2022, Rayudu posted a tweet stating that it would be his final season in the IPL, but he later deleted it after intervention from the CSK management. Finally, in 2023, Rayudu confirmed that the IPL final against Gujarat Titans would be his last game in the tournament, with no U-turns this time.
Impressive IPL Records and Achievements
Ambati Rayudu boasts an impressive IPL record, with 204 matches played over 14 seasons. He has been part of 11 playoffs, 8 finals, and has won 5 trophies. With a sixth title in sight, Rayudu has the chance to join Rohit Sharma as the most successful player in IPL history.
Rayudu is among the top-ten most experienced IPL cricketers and the second-most successful IPL player, with five titles to his name. Only Rohit Sharma has won the IPL more times. In terms of overall performance, Rayudu has scored 4,329 runs with 22 half-centuries and one century, which came against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018.
Rayudu’s Final Season in the IPL
The 2023 season has been a mixed bag for Ambati Rayudu. He has had indifferent outings with the bat but has continued to enjoy the confidence of MS Dhoni, playing in all 15 matches so far. Rayudu has scored 139 runs in the season with a strike rate of 132.28.
Despite not having a great season, Rayudu contributed to CSK’s journey to the final with a crucial nine-ball 17 in tough conditions in Qualifier 1 against Gujarat Titans. His experience and ability to perform under pressure have been valuable assets for the team throughout the tournament.
Milestones and Legacy
With 203 IPL games under his belt, Ambati Rayudu is among the select few players in the tournament’s history to have appeared in 200 or more games. As the 12th highest run-getter in the league, Rayudu has amassed 4,239 runs, leaving a lasting impact on the tournament.
Rayudu’s journey in the IPL has been a testament to his talent, determination, and resilience. From his early days with Mumbai Indians to his successful stint with Chennai Super Kings, Rayudu’s career has seen numerous ups and downs. However, his ability to bounce back and make crucial contributions has made him a fan favorite and an essential part of the teams he has represented.
Gratitude and Appreciation
As he bids adieu to the IPL, Ambati Rayudu has expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the fans, teammates, and franchises that have supported him throughout his journey. In his retirement announcement tweet, Rayudu thanked everyone who has been a part of his IPL career, acknowledging the love and support he has received from fans and fellow players alike.
What Lies Ahead for Ambati Rayudu?
While Ambati Rayudu’s IPL journey comes to an end, it remains to be seen what the future holds for this talented cricketer. With a wealth of experience and a successful career behind him, Rayudu may choose to pursue coaching or mentoring roles in domestic or international cricket. His expertise and insights could prove invaluable for upcoming cricketers looking to make their mark in the sport.
Ambati Rayudu’s retirement marks the end of an era in the Indian Premier League. As fans and fellow players bid farewell to this champion cricketer, his legacy and contributions to the tournament will always be remembered. Rayudu’s journey in the IPL serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers, showcasing the importance of determination, resilience, and the ability to adapt and overcome challenges in the highly competitive world of cricket.