Ambati Thirupathi Rayudu (born 23 September 1985) is an Indian professional cricketer and current captain of the Andhra team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy championship. He plays as a right-handed middle-order batsman, who occasionally keeps wicket and bowls right-arm off breaks. He plays for Hyderabad in domestic cricket, and Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ambati Rayudu married Chennupalli Vidya, a college friend, on 14 February 2009. They were blessed with a baby girl on July 12, 2020.
|Full name||Ambati Thirupathi Rayudu|
|Born||23 September 1985 (age 36)
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Role||Batsman, occasional wicket-keeper|
|Relations||Rohit Rayudu (cousin)|
|National side||India (2013–2019)|
|ODI debut (cap 196)||24 July 2013 v Zimbabwe|
|Last ODI||8 March 2019 v Australia|
|ODI shirt no.||5|
|T20I debut (cap 48)||7 September 2014 v England|
|Last T20I||5 October 2015 v South Africa|
|T20I shirt no.||5|
|Domestic team information|
|2010–2017||Mumbai Indians (squad no. 9)|
|2018–present||Chennai Super Kings (squad no. 9)|
Ambati Rayudu began his career playing for Hyderabad youth teams in the late-90s, playing at the Under-16 and Under-19 levels. He appeared for India Under-15s at the ACC Under-15 Trophy in 2000, finishing as the leading run-scorer of the tournament and winning man of the match in the final against Pakistan. Prolific run-scoring at age group levels saw him getting elevated to the senior team squad of Hyderabad. He made his first-class debut for Hyderabad in January 2002, at the age of 16, during the 2001–02 Ranji Trophy.
Rayudu captained the Indian team at the 2004 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh where India finished as semifinalists. He averaged 24.83 with the bat at the tournament and was banned for the semifinal against Pakistan for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct in the previous match. He struck an unbeaten century for India A against Kenya at Nairobi later that year. He averaged just 11.93 from 7 matches in the 2004–05 Ranji Trophy, but struck 3 fifties in 4 matches in the Ranji One-Day Trophy.
Decline, ICL and Return
Due to differences with the then Hyderabad coach Rajesh Yadav, Rayudu switched to Andhra for the 2005–06 season. He averaged 35 in the Ranji Trophy that season and made headlines when he was attacked by Hyderabad player Arjun Yadav with stumps after Yadav was dismissed during the Andhra-Hyderabad match. Rayudu returned to Hyderabad the following season after Vivek Jaisimha took over as the team’s coach. Rayudu could play only three Ranji matches that season as he suffered a knee injury that kept him out of action. In one of the three matches he scored 62 and 110 not out, against Rajasthan. Upon returning from injury, he averaged 21 in the 2006–07 Ranji One-Day Trophy.
Before the 2010–11 season, Rayudu decided to play for Baroda after Hyderabad got relegated to the Plate Division of Ranji Trophy, with Hyderabad coach Venkatapathy Raju saying “it was done in bad taste”. At the Ranji Trophy that season, Rayudu finished as Baroda’s leading run-getter with 566 runs in 9 matches at an average of 56.60 including an unbeaten double hundred and three half-centuries, while the team finished runners-up.
In December 2012, the newly formed selection panel, chaired by Sandeep Patil who was also previously associated with the ICL, picked Rayudu as the replacement player for the injured Manoj Tiwary for the T20I series against England. However, Rayudu did not feature in the playing eleven in either of the two matches. In the 2012–13 Ranji Trophy season, Rayudu scored 666 runs at an average of 60.54 with a hundred and seven fifties. He played for Rest of India in the 2013 Irani Cup against Mumbai and scored 51 and 156*. He was the top-scorer in the 2012–13 Deodhar Trophy final where his innings of 78* helped West Zone chase down the target of 290 against North Zone.
Rayudu was picked in the ODI and T20I squads for the tour of England in July 2014. He played in the third ODI at Nottingham where he picked his maiden ODI wicket, that of England captain Alastair Cook, and top-scored with 64 not out to help India register a six-wicket win.
Rayudu averaged 19.33 in the tri-series against Australia and England and was selected in India’s 15-member squad for the 2015 Cricket World Cup which reached the semifinal, but did not appear in any of the matches in the tournament. He played two ODIs on the Bangladesh tour in June 2015 and averaged 22. In the subsequent tour of Zimbabwe, Rayudu scored an unbeaten 124 in the first ODI at Harare and won the man of the match award. He scored 41 in the next match before suffering an injury that ruled him out of the tour. India went on to sweep the series 3–0 and Rayudu was adjudged man of the series.
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