Star In The Making
FARJANA K. GODHULY / AFP
The Guntur-born Ambati Rayudu was skipper of the India under-19 team in the 2004 World Cup and was praised for his fine cricketing acumen. He was noticed a couple of years before as a child prodigy and was already touted as India’s next great batsman. This side included the likes of Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan and Dinesh Karthik among others.
Domestic Troubles And ICL
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Things didn’t go so smooth for Rayudu when he had a falling out with the Hyderabad Ranji team which also involved an altercation with a fellow team mate. Things got worse with the administrator when he joined the now-defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) which was not officially sanctioned by the BCCI.
Return To Official Cricket
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The ICL didn’t survive long and the BCCI decided to provide amnesty to the rebel players and got them back playing mainstream domestic cricket. This time, Rayudu joined the Baroda side in 2010-11 and the move worked wonders for him. He logged 50+ averages in the next two seasons and was firmly on the radar of the national selectors.
Mumbai Indians Call
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is where Ambati Rayudu became somewhat of a household name. He was signed up by the Mumbai Indians team and was retained over subsequent seasons where he played an important role. Rubbing shoulders with the legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and other international cricketers played an important role in his development as a cricketer.
JEKESAI NIJIKIZANA / AFP
His performance in the domestic circuit and the IPL was very much noticed and Rayudu soon broke into the Indian national team in 2013 against Zimbabwe, making an unbeaten half-century on debut. He has featured in 31 matches since then and averages an excellent 45.33 with two match-winning centuries under his belt.