IPL: Want to play at least next three years: Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu says he wants to continue playing for at least the next three years and is ready for the next round of the Indian Premier League. The 36-year-old right-handed batsman had retired from all forms of cricket in July, 2019 after being sidelined for the ICC ODI World Cup, but made himself available for selection two months later.

“I would love to play till I am in good form and fit. I will be ready for the next cycle, which is three years and I am working hard on my fitness,” Rayudu, who recently played for Andhra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, told PTI.

“I recently played the Vijay Hazare Trophy which is five ODIs in six days which I have achieved well. I am in good shape and I hope to continue playing for at least the next three years.”

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Rayudu was one of five standbys for the World Cup, but he missed out on a place in the 15-man squad for Vijay Shankar in what was considered a “three-dimensional” game.

He made a sarcastic ‘3D’ remark and quit cricket before reconsidering his decision.

“The 2019 World Cup was definitely disappointing for me, not to make it into the team. My comeback was dedicated to CSK and how they helped me get through those times and times and I am thankful to them.”

Rayudu feels that his stint with four-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings was special and skipper MS Dhoni brought out the best in him.

“My stint with CSK has been very special. We have won two IPLs so far and played one final. 2018 was a very special season, a comeback season for CSK and that year we made it very special by winning the IPL.

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“Dhoni bhai has made an impact of getting the best out of me, not just me but he has an impact on everyone and brings out the best from everyone in the team.

That’s why he is the best captain India has ever had,” he said in an e-mail conversation.

Rayudu, who has been a part of CSK for four seasons now, said that he would love to play for the team again and is expected to be picked up by the franchise in the upcoming auction.

“… I would definitely love to play for CSK. Formally, I haven’t had any communication so far, but I hope they get picked and have a successful league again.”

Apart from skipper Dhoni, the Super Kings have retained Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali ahead of the auction for the next IPL season.

The Dhoni-led side won its fourth title earlier this year after failing to qualify for the play-offs in 2020.

“After the 2020 season, this win at CSK was very special for us. I have also contributed. I have got a good chance and I have shown my potential…

“I really enjoyed the role I played with CSK this year. Being in the lower middle order, it is difficult to get such an opportunity and I cherished every moment.”

Asked if CSK’s blueprint was one for others to follow, Rayudu said: “I wouldn’t say template but every team looks for a mix of young and experienced players. Especially when there is high pressure, experience really matters.

The Andhra batsman, who scored 257 runs during CSK’s 2021 IPL campaign, said, “We are seeing a lot of teams are very mature about the selection of their teams and I think this year will be a very interesting auction. “

Asked if he regretted not getting a chance to play Tests, Rayudu said he was happy to represent the country in the white-ball format.

The Guntur-born batsman said, “It is a great honor to represent India and I am glad that I represented India in the white-ball formats – ODIs and T20s.”

“I feel unfortunate about missing out on the Test cap. But I don’t mind because I have given my best. I am delighted to have got the opportunity to represent the team and it is a great honor in itself.”

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