The skipper of Chennai Super Kings, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was beaming with joy and was full of praises for his fellow teammate Ambati Rayudu, after CSK defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL match on Sunday.
Cricket news: He is someone who can play pacers and spinners equally well, says Dhoni
Rayudu opened the innings for his team and stayed till the end as he made his maiden IPL century in the process, scoring a 100 not out from 62 balls with the help of seven fours and seven sixes.
Hyderabad had given a target of 180 which Chennai chased down with one over to spare. After the match Dhoni praised Rayudu by saying that he is someone who can score runs equally both against pacers and spinners.
"Even before IPL started I had to make space for Rayudu, because he is somebody I rate him very highly. He can play both the fast bowlers and spinners very well. Most teams look to exploit the opener with spin bowling. He is someone who doesn't look like a big hitter but almost clears the field every time he plays the big shot," said Dhoni.
Dhoni expected the ball to swing more in the second phase of the match. But it left him surprised to find that the ball is not swinging that much as he had expected.
In the post-match presentation, Dhoni said, "I thought the ball will swing more in the second half than what it did for us. The swing was not there, that was a surprise. We got off to a good start. Watson and Rayudu hit boundaries whenever there was an opportunity. Otherwise 180 against SRH would have been a tough chase."
When Dhoni was asked what the plan is made by the team management when setting the batting order, the skipper said, “My plan was to make Rayudu open and if Kedar (Jadhav) was fit, he will bat at 4 or 5 We keep the numbers of overs remaining as the mark and we decide the No. 4 batsman based on that."
Rayudu was later selected as Man-of-the-match and when questioned about his performance, he said that he is enjoying every day the way everything is going on right now.
"It's a good position (opening) to bat in T20s. I am enjoying it right now. There's no secret. I was ready to open. If you are good at 4-day cricket, you can bat at any position. I am really happy to be back in the Indian team, hopefully I will do well there," he said.
When Rayudu was asked about his experience in opening the innings with veteran Australian batsman Shane Watson, he said, "We are backing ourselves and communicating very well. He has been of great help to me."