One can call him a pint-sized class stroke-maker or a prolific run-getter. A man with compact cricketing technique and often considered as India’s shining star, right-handed batsman Ambati Rayudu is the man we are talking about. In cricket, two things are extremely important – talent and timing. Ambati Rayudu combines both these aspects of the game pretty aptly.
After playing cricket for many years Rayudu was not amongst those batsmen who would set the stage on the blaze. His method to the game is fairly simple – ‘patience’ and ‘class’. Even as his counterparts made their way to national duties, Rayudu took small steps towards his own goal. Slow and steady, the 33-year-old man finally donned the blue jersey. Here is his story…
Ambati Thirupathi Rayudu
Date of Birth
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Sambasiva Rao, Vijayalakshmi
Right arm off break
Teams Played for
India, India A, Rest of India, Mumbai Indians, Baroda, India Red, Chennai Super Kings, Board President XI, West Zone, India Green, Vidarbha, Central Zone, India Blue, Hyderabad
Ambati Rayudu Biography
Born to Sambasiva Rao and Vijayalakshmi in the town of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Ambati from his early days set his eyes on cricket. Rayudu completed his early education from Bhavan’s Sri Ramakrishna Vidyalaya, Sainikpuri. His father worked in the archive department in the state. He was the main inspiration behind Ambati’s flair in the cricket with Rao registering Ambati in the coaching camp when he was only in the third grade. In 1992, Rao took him to the Former Hyderabad cricketer academy named Vijay Paul for the sake of enhancing his talent in the game of cricket. From there, Ambati never looked back and made cricket his passion as well as career.
Entry in cricket
He started his cricketing stint with Hyderabad youth teams in the 1990 and moved in Under-16 and Under-19 squadron. He appeared for India Under-15s at the ACC Under-15 Trophy in 2000, concluding as the leading run-scorer of the tournament as well as bagging Man of the Match award in the final against arch-rivals Pakistan. After his prolific seasons, he received his first chance to play first-class cricket with Hyderabad in 2002. Believe it or not, he was just 16. In the next two years, he also captained the Indian team at the ICC Under-19 World Cup, held in Bangladesh.
One can say Ranji trophy season 2002-2003 was the golden span of Rayudu, he smashed 698 runs with the average of 69.80. He became the youngest player in the history of the tournament to score a double century and a century in the same match. With the continuous form he was selected in India A side. He averaged 87 during the 2013 India A tour of England. He also captained the India Under-19 team at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
With his run graph was scaling high he received an opportunity to play in the blue jersey. He was selected in the squad of the Indian team in 2012 in the T20 series against England but unfortunately, he didn’t make his debut.
In July 2013, he was once again selected for the tri-series against West Indies as a replacement of MS Dhoni but still couldn’t make his debut in the series. Finally, the wait was over when he made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe where he made an effective partnership with Virat Kohli. He became the 12th Indian batsman who made a half-century in the debut match in the ODIs. Ambati Rayudu was considered as reserve batsman even though he had made only two appearances across the four home ODI series against Australia, West Indies, South Africa, and New Zealand. He also played in all matches of 2014 Asia Cup.
Mumbai Indians is one team in Indian Premier League who always has brought talent from the domestic world to international scenario. Ambati Rayudu was one such talent that Mumbai Indians bought for the first time in the year 2010. Rayudu remained the part of Maharashtra based IPL franchise from 2010 to 2017 before later joining the Chennai Super Kings for Rs 2.20 crore.
Rayudu went into disputes with the coach of Hyderabad team and in no time he left Hyderabad and joined Andhra for the 2005-2006 Ranji season. He made headlines in that season because he was attacked by the player of Hyderabad team named Arjun Yadav. He once again joined the Hyderabad team when the coach of the team was changed.
In mid- 2007, the ICL (Indian Cricket League) was formed and BCCI announced that if any player takes part in the ICL then he will be banned for the domestic cricket. Despite the statement issued Rayudu and six other players signed their contract for ICL. In 2009 BCCI placed an offer for the players to join the domestic cricket of India. This time Rayudu made the decision to play for Hyderabad and bid adieu to ICL.
Family: Supported by wife in difficult times
Those who know him well say that his wife Chennupalli Vidya would coax him on and help him through the challenging times. A college friend, they had married on Valentine’s Day in 2009 just after the ICL ended and before the BCCI gave amnesty to the players. So solitary was he that, on the tour of South Africa in 2013, other Indian players’ wives didn’t realize she was there. Vidya has been his emotional lounger, guiding him through the ICL comeback.
Ambati Rayudu net worth has been estimated to be around Rs 24 crores as of 2018. There is a climb of 45 % in his net worth last year.
He has an annual Income of Rs 4 crore (including endorsements and salary). He became part of Yellow Army when Chennai Super Kings brought him to Chennai from Mumbai at the price of Rs 2.20 crore in IPL auction 2018.
Lesser known facts
- He is a football fan and supports Manchester United.
- During 2014 season of IPL, Ambati once prepared Biryani for his Chennai Super Kings teammates but the hotel refused to bring outside food. It ignited CSK players and they checked out of the hotel.
- His favourite dish is Hyderabadi Biryani.
- Rayudu is the youngest Ranji player to score a double century and a century in the same match.
Frank, honest, self-destructive, short-tempered, loyal—a roller coaster of traits have been attributed to Rayudu. Statistically speaking, this Andhra man has good numbers in ODIs though the strike-rate is not that skyrocketing.
Going by the sheer number of teams he has served till date, we can safely conclude that Rayudu is one of the finest batsmen in Indian contingent with ample experience in all formats of cricket be it T20, One Day Internationals or Test Cricket. He still has the shots, he has years with him and yes, he has the ability.
Though the dreams of playing in the World Cup may have come to an end (provisionally), Rayudu still remains a prime component of the Men in Blue team.