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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Ambati Rayudu retires from Cricket

Those of us who aare above 45 – would answer immediately ~ a happy retirement is bliss ! .. .. in PSU – there would be farewell party, where people would talk of nice things,  give gifts, apple & other fruits, give a warm-send off with sandal garland and perhaps would be dropped at home too .. .. in Cricket, a couple of decades ago, when people retired, there would be a farewell (unofficial)friendly match, proceeds of which would go to the batsman.  In 1979 debuted – MV Narasimha Rao, Dhiraj Parsana, Bharat Reddy, Yashpal Sharma, Dilip Doshi, Shivlal Yadav, Roger Binny – the 1st 3 did not last long !

Can you identify what brackets together – Alastair Cook, Tilakaratne Dilshan & Mustafizur Rahman  - interesting ! Now moving further to another Cricket Q - many spinners, especially off-spinners,  are susceptible to be called for throwing when they have a front-on approach because the elbow gets in front of the wrist upon release, especially bowling doosra.  In the first ODI at Sydney, an Indian bowler was called for ‘suspect action’ – who ??

Mayank Agarwal has just joined the Indian Team in England and his selection, might surprise many. Firstly because he was not even part of the five-man list of standbys announced when the World Cup 15 was announced. Along with Pant, the only other batsman who was part of that was Ambati Rayudu. Agarwal has never played for India in limited-overs cricket.

Ambati Thirupathi Rayudu (1985)  is a right-handed middle-order batsman, who occasionally kept wicket and bowled right-arm off breaks. He played for Hyderabad in domestic cricket, and Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He is news for having announced his retirement today from all forms of Cricket.

Rayudu began his first-class career with Hyderabad in 2002 at the age of 16 and, by the following year, was playing for India A. He captained the India Under-19 team at the 2004 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup and was expected to break into the senior team. Disputes with players and state association, followed by signing up with the "rebel" Indian Cricket League, led to him being ignored for national team selection. He returned to domestic cricket in 2009 by accepting BCCI's amnesty offer and terminating his ICL contract. He eventually made his international debut in July 2013, in an ODI against Zimbabwe.

In Dec 2005,   Ambati Rayudu was attacked by a member of the rival team in the Andhra Pradesh-Hyderabad Ranji Trophy match at Ananthapur.  Rayudu, had  switched over to Andhra from Hyderabad, and  was attacked by Arjun Yadav with stumps after the latter was dismissed and a scuffle ensued.   Arjun is the son of former offie Shivlal Yadav.

There was a time when he was thought off as a certainty in the World Cup squad but as Rayudu's form wobbled, the selectors, by accident, found a favourable alternative in Vijay Shankar. The Tamil Nadu allrounder impressed the selectors not just with his fluent technique, batting in the middle order, but also bowl medium pace. Add to that his fielding, which was a weak point for Rayudu; "It's not anything that went against him," Prasad said on Rayudu's absence from the World Cup squad. "It's only the thing that went in favour of Vijay Shankar because he adds a bit more dimensions to that role and with his fielding and bowling abilities.  .. but that 3 dimensional Vijay Shankar did struggle and was dropped, eventually limping out of WC with a toe injury.

Nearly two months after not being considered for the World Cup squad, India middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu announced his retirement from "all forms and levels" of cricket. Although Rayudu was named among five standbys for the World Cup, he was ignored twice when the selectors and the Indian team management opted for Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal as replacements for the injured pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar. Rayudu's decision comes a day after India qualified for the semi-finals. Rayudu, 33, sent an email to the BCCI top brass on Wednesday morning where he summed up his career as a "wonderful journey".   Last November Rayudu had retired from first-class cricket in a bid to focus on his limited-overs career, following a successful return to the India ODI set-up after injury troubles.

On the eve of the home ODI series against West Indies, Kohli had said Rayudu was the right person for the No. 4 position "because he's experienced and he has won many games for his state and in IPL cricket.  Rayudu responded to the confidence reposed in him by scoring a half-century and a century - both at No. 4 - against West Indies. However, midway into the ODI series in New Zealand in January, Kohli's confidence in Rayudu seemed to have wavered.  Daniel Vettori said  that Ambati Rayudu has another few years of IPL cricket in him, despite his retirement from all formats.  In the  three-match ODI series against Australia at home in March, Rayudu failed with scores of 13, 18, 2. It did not help that Rayudu was suspended from bowling in international cricket when he opted not to submit a test of his action after it was reported in mid-January. A weak IPL (282 runs in 17 innings) did not help him either before the Indian selectors, along with Kohli, opted for Tamil Nadu allrounder Vijay Shankar ahead of Rayudu. Rayudu's immediate response was a cheeky tweet, referring to his "3D glasses", which seemed to be a jibe at the selectors for ignoring him.

In all, Rayudu, who made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2013, featured in 55 ODIs, scoring 1694 runs at an average of 47.05. A short career, but it had its fair share of controversies. Last June Rayudu was withdrawn from India's ODI squad for the UK tour after he failed the yo-yo test, part of the fitness guidelines mandatory for selection.  In 2007, Rayudu signed up with the  Indian Cricket League, leading to a BCCI ban which was eventually lifted when he took up the amnesty. Upon return in 2011, Rayudu switched from Hyderabad to Baroda to Vidarbha to Andhra before retiring with Hyderabad in India's domestic circuit. Rayudu was thankful to all the domestic teams and the two IPL franchises - Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings - for allowing him to grow as a cricketer.

He also acknowleged the various captains, especially Kohli, whom he said had given him the support at the right time. "It has been a honour and privilege to have represented our country. I would like to thank the captains i have played under, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and especially Virat Kohli who always had shown great belief in me throughout my career with the Indian team."

The answer to the Qs at the start - ~ if you had guessed it was Ambati Rayudu.    Rayudu has only ever bowled in nine of his 46 innings in ODIs.  ~ and his victims are  – Alastair Cook, Tilakaratne Dilshan & Mustafizur Rahman  - interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
3rd July 2019.

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