"I have always loved playing for CSK": Ambati Rayadu
New Delhi, India: Batter Ambati Rayadu, who has announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League (IPL) stating that the title clash on Monday between his side Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans (GT) would be his last match, reflected on his journey as a cricketer, his support system and role models growing up.
In a video posted by the official Twitter handle of CSK, Rayadu reflected on his cricketing career.
Rayadu said that he loves playing for Chennai Super Kings.
"You love this game, especially playing for CSK. I have always loved playing for CSK," said Rayadu.
The right-hand batter said that his journey as a cricketer began around 30 years ago and the pressure aspect of the game keeps him going as he enjoys the pressure. He also said he has a very good support system in his family.
"My cricket started around 30 years ago. There have been a lot of good years and bad years. So it is the journey that is important and the learning you take from it. When you go out to the park, you want to enjoy the fight, you want to enjoy the pressure. It is that aspect that keeps me going," said Rayadu.
"My family support system has been really good, especially my parents. They have sacrificed a lot to have me play this sport. After that Vidhya (his wife) came into my life and the support system has always been the backbone. This is where I found my source of strength," added the batter.
Rayadu said that his idol growing up was Sachin Tendulkar.
"To watch him bat was a treat. I always enjoyed that," he added.
Rayadu said that his preparation is still the same and he looks to tick all the required boxes for his game.
"The preparation still stays the same and it is good. I am comfortable with what I am doing. There are a few markers in your game, which have to come good. When you know they are coming good, you are in a good headspace. These practice sessions get you in that groove, where you know you are ticking all the boxes," said Rayadu.
"When you are in a good rhythm while batting, you do a lot of things instinctively. So it is good to build that instinct. So that you do not have to think too much," added the veteran.
After a few years of playing IPL under restrictions due to COVID-19, Rayadu said that this years' IPL feels "real."
"We do a lot of travelling, playing in different conditions. It feels really good. We are coming off a bad season, it motivates you to do even better. I am sure we are doing a lot of good things this season," he said.
Ambati Rayadu has announced that his side's Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final against Gujarat Titans (GT) will be the last match of his league career.
Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will lock horns in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Narendra Modi Stadium making this GT's second successive final and CSK's 10th, the most by any time in league's history.
Rayadu took to Twitter to make the announcement.
"2 great teams mi nd csk, 204 matches, 14 seasons, 11 playoffs, 8 finals, 5 trophies. Hopefully 6th tonight. It is been quite a journey. I have decided that tonight's final is going to be my last game in the Ipl. I truly have enjoyed playing this great tournament. Thank u all. No u-turn," tweeted Rayadu.
In 203 matches of his IPL career, Rayadu has scored 4,329 runs at an average of 28.29 and a strike rate of 127.29. He has scored one century and 22 half-centuries in his IPL career, with best score of 100*. He is the 12th-highest run scorer of all time in IPL history.
He represented Mumbai Indians from 2010-2017 in 114 matches. He scored 2,416 runs at an average of 27.15 at a strike rate of 126.16 for the franchise, with 14 half-centuries. His best score was 81*.
In 89 matches for CSK, a franchise he joined in 2018, he has scored 1,913 runs at an average of 29.89 and a strike rate of 128.73. He has scored a century and eight fifties for CSK, with the best score of 100*.
His 2018 season with CSK is his most successful one. He scored 602 runs in 16 matches at an average of 43.00. He scored a century and three fifties that season, with best score of 100*.
He lifted the IPL trophy with MI (2013, 2015 and 2017) and CSK (2018 and 2021) a total of five times. He is one of the most successful players in the league's history due to his immense success as a batter and his trophy count.
In the ongoing season, he has scored 139 runs at an average of 15.44 and a strike rate of 132.38. His best score is 27*.
Rayadu has represented India in 55 ODIs, having scored 1,694 runs at an average of 47.05, with three tons and 10 fifties. He has also played six T20Is, in which he scored 42 runs. He last played an international match for India in March 2019.
Hardik Pandya-led GT will be looking forward to defending the title that they had bagged in their debut season back in 2022. CSK will be hoping to clinch their fifth title and perhaps give a memorable farewell to skipper MS Dhoni, as this could be his last season with the Yellow franchise as speculated by many fans since the start of the tournament.
Gujarat Titans Squad: Wriddhiman Saha(w), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya(c), Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohit Sharma, Noor Ahmad, Mohammed Shami, Joshua Little, Srikar Bharat, Shivam Mavi, Odean Smith, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Pradeep Sangwan, Matthew Wade, Jayant Yadav, Dasun Shanaka, Abhinav Manohar, Alzarri Joseph, Darshan Nalkande, Urvil Patel, Yash Dayal
Chennai Super Kings Squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Akash Singh, Ben Stokes, Dwaine Pretorius, Sisanda Magala, Ajay Jadav Mandal, Prashant Solanki, Simarjeet Singh, RS Hangargekar, Bhagath Varma, Nishant Sindhu.