Home > Features >

Ambati Rayudu: The man with gleam in his eye wanting to make hay while the sun shines

Ambati Rayudu: The man with gleam in his eye wanting to make hay while the sun shines

The biggest breakthrough in Ambati Rayudu’s cricketing career came when he shot into limelight playing for the Mumbai Indians © AFP

By Sarang Bhalerao

Twelve seasons ago at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) a young boy, who was dreaming big, had entered the hallowed portals of the Bangalore nursery for young budding cricketers. His dream, like any other young cricketer, was to don India colours. But this boy — Ambati Rayudu was different and blessed. The art of batting exemplified aesthetics — his touch play provided joy and offered a lot of hope.

The batting nets for Rayudu were akin to a University. His precocious talent with the bat was his only way to pass from the University. He had the ingredients to succeed. The strokes had copyrights of his fluency, the technique looked compact, and the temperament was rock solid. Rayudu was in need of a stage to perform his mesmerizing acts.

In 2002, Rayudu, opening the batting for India colts blazed a colossal 177 against England Under-19. The media heralded him as the best young batsman of the country. Everybody was convinced that Rayudu would play for the country, the only question was when? He was still hailed as a precocious talent and even led an Indian Under-19 team to the World Cup in 2004 where he led Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, RP Singh and Shikhar Dhawan. But there came a point where his temperament overshadowed his talent.

He had issues with the Hyderabad coach in 2004 and he moved to Andhra Pradesh the following season. In 2005 he was embroiled in an ugly controversy with Arjun Yadav. There was a fight between the two. His hot-headed nature was in focus. That went against him in a big way. All that promise which Rayudu had shown since his young days was a thing of past.

Unfortunately Rayudu was lost in wilderness. He joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2007 and rubbed shoulders with international stars. His international aspirations were put on hold until 2009 when he accepted BCCI’s amnesty offer.

The biggest breakthrough in Rayudu’s cricketing career came when he shot into limelight playing for the Mumbai Indians in 2010. He got to rub shoulders with one of the greats of the game — Sachin Tendulkar and the world was amazed to see the talent in Rayudu.  He had the chutzpah to attack the best of the bowlers. The batting had a lot of class and soon he became an important member of the star-studded Mumbai Indians team.

Now, on the sheer weight of his runs, he is in the news. He has lost a lot of ground due to various issues (Read non-cricketing). But there is still the languid movement when Rayudu drives the ball. There is still the relentless pursuit to hit the ball in the middle of the bat. He has the rare gift of timing. He was just born with it.

The selection to the tour of West Indies might give Rayudu a chance to seek redemption. He might not immediately play in the team because of performing, star-studded middle-order. But, an India stint will surely boost his morale. Life seldom gives people second chances.

Rayudu has earned his selection because there was still fire in his belly and a dream to play for India never dithered. He still has the gleam in his eye. Hope Rayudu gets the due he deserves. Better late than never!

(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

Pakistan vs Australia 2014, 1st Test: Michael Clarke, Misbah-ul-Haq ready for spin challenge

WICB could face financial ramifications following legal action by BCCI

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

ICC World Cricket League 2014: Associate nations confident of good show

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

Sonakshi Sinha turns producer!

Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus zero-interest EMI options won’t be available in India: Report

Vijay assures smooth release of Kaththi!

गर्भवती महिलायें दिवाली में रहें सावधान

Mayawati: Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in polls not a verdict for Union government

iFixit cracks open the new Mac mini, finds soldered RAM inside

हड्डियों पर फ्लोराइड के हानिकारक दुष्प्रभाव

BCCI to move court against WICB, suspends bilateral tours

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here