MS Dhoni spoke about Ambati Rayudu and his outstanding batting this year in IPL. Dhoni revealed that he knew how to use Rayudu before the tournament started and he is aware of the threat he possesses.
Speaking after the game, Dhoni said, "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."
Rayudu, on Sunday, scored his first T20 hundred against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the strongest bowling side of IPL 2018, and took his team to the playoffs. CSK beat SRH by 8 wickets to register their eighth win in this edition of the cash-rich league.
The hosts did well to restrict SRH under 200. The pitch looked easy to bat, but the swing early on in Hyderabad's innings made it a bit tricky for them. The Chennai skipper was expecting something similar, but it didn't happen which made the chase easy.
"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," he said at the post-match presentation.
Talking about the preferred batting order for his side, Dhoni 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 adjudged Man of the Match for his top performance this season. "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," he said.
"I am really happy to be back in the Indian team, hopefully, I will do well there."
Asked about batting with senior opening partner Shane Watson, Raydu said, "We are backing ourselves and communicating very well. He has been of great help to me."