Ambati Rayudu scored 79 © AFP
Ambati Rayudu scored 79 © AFP

In a two-paced pitch, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking in Match 20 of VIVO IPL 2018. CSK were 54 for 2 while SRH were 71 for 3. After the 10th over, Ambati Rayudu along with Suresh Raina caused the damage for SRH with their 112-run partnership. MS Dhoni added the finishing touches in the end. When it came to SRH, skipper Kane Williamson was en course to his first IPL century. However, a certain Dwayne Bravo halted SRH’s success.

On Ambati Rayudu’s batting position: 

CSK experimented with their opening pair calling Faf du Plessis at the top with Shane Watson. With both not clicking with the bat, Ambati Rayudu entered and looked in destructive mood. He slammed as many as 9 fours and 4 sixes to get to his first IPL fifty this season. He also scored his second best IPL innings of 79 after his score of 81* that came in 2012 IPL. However, Rayudu has looked dangerous both as an opener as well as batting at No. 3. In 2018 IPL, Rayudu has scored 22, 39 while opening and scored 39, 79 batting at No. 3.

Dhoni in the post-match presentation revealed where he would love to see Rayudu playing in the upcoming games: “Rayudu has been fantastic. One of the questions was where do we play him? And I have seen him bat up the order at No. 3. Whenever he plays the big shots, he maintains shape, which is very important. He can bat at all numbers, but I’d prefer to see him opening, where he looks very dangerous.”

On his advice to Dwayne Bravo…

After removing Williamson for 84, Shardul Thakur supported Bravo removing Yusuf Pathan for 45. It was over to Rashid Khan to bail out SRH. Where Rashid responded well to Bravo’s yorkers with fours and sixes, the pressure kept mounting on CSK. At one point, Dhoni and Bravo were seen having a good 2 minutes chat that was followed by a yorker from Bravo.

Bravo has tally of 126 wickets from 111 IPL matches at 22.88. Dhoni mentioned why even an experienced bowler like Bravo needed advice in the pressure situation: “I didn’t want him to change his plans, basically. At times, even the best like Bravo, need advice. What’s important is you make mistakes and you learn. At lot of times we have these debates, but a lot of times, when you make mistakes, the bowlers understand what we were talking about.”