Rayudu shines bright in Hyderabad

MI batsman happy to put up a good show in his hometown

Hyderabad 13 May 2014
A lot of eyebrows were raised when Mumbai Indians retained Ambati Rayudu in their squad during the IPL Player Auction. But the fact remains that the franchise is ready to invest on a talent like Rayudu who has shown his mettle as a batsman in the past. Over the years, the 28-year-old from Andhra Pradesh has grown as a batsman and only looks to get better with each game.

On Monday night against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, he stitched a 130-run partnership along with Lendl Simmons to guide a clinical chase for the Mumbai Indians, earning them a much-needed win to stay alive in the competition. Rayudu rues the fact that he has not been able to convert his good starts into big scores and vows to work harder on that aspect of his game. In this chat with, Man of the Match, Ambati Rayudu, opens up about his batting and his good show at a place that is very special to him – Hyderabad.

Excerpts from his interview:

A half-century the previous game and a match-winning knock to follow; happy the way you are batting?

(Smiles) I am happy the way I am batting right now. Initially, I was getting a few starts, but I was unable to get the big scores. It is something that I am working on. As a team, unfortunately, we have not been winning as many games as we would like, but it is good to see that all the players are actually coming back into proper form. It is just a matter of time that we start playing perfect games like we did tonight against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Every season is a different challenge and as a team we would hope to qualify for the Playoffs.

You have been shuffled a lot in this batting order with the Mumbai Indians. How difficult is to bat at different positions?

I think you need to adjust and adapt as per the situation in this format of the game. In all these years with the Mumbai Indians, I have almost batted at every number. I believe if you are a good reader of the game and if you are not too rigid in the head, a batsman can bat at any position he wants.

Have you recognised areas that you need to work on, after batting for MI all these years?

It is a constant process of working at your game and getting better. I don’t think I am playing the same way as I have been playing since the start of my IPL season. There are few things that you would like to change. In the first few games of the season, you would know where exactly teams are looking to bowl at you and you try and improvise accordingly. You have to evolve as a cricketer and keep working at your game and find new areas to score runs.

There have been times when you have got your team to a good position, but given it away. How do you plan to finish more games for your side?

I don’t think there is a set rule or a pattern that you would follow to finish games. At times, when the game gets too easy, it gets a little difficult to finish because you tend to relax a little. Tighter the game goes, the better it is to finish. I will try and stay till the end and look to finish games for my side.

How was it to get a match-winning knock at your home ground?

I am from Hyderabad and it is a very special place for me. This is where I learnt and started playing cricket. To have played for Hyderabad and coming back to this ground is always special. I am happy I could play well tonight in front of my home crowd.

In your hometown, did you treat your teammates to a traditional Hyderabadi Biryani?

(Laughs) I got some Biryani yesterday afternoon for the whole team. Apparently, it looks like they have enjoyed a lot and it showed on the ground as well.
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