India batsman Ambati Rayudu, who made a comeback into domestic cricket after announcing retirement post ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 snub, has expressed support for his Chennai Super Kings vice-captain Suresh Raina.
Speaking during an Instagram live session with Super Kings, Rayudu vouched for the southpaw’s international comeback. “He [Suresh Raina] has a lot of cricket left in him. I am putting a bet on it that he would make a comeback for India,” Rayudu was quoted as saying.
Despite last playing for India during the tour of England in 2018 and not playing competitive cricket since IPL 2018, Raina had exhibited interest in batting at No. 4 for India in the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.
Dropped from the T20I squad after the home series against England in 2017, Raina was recalled before the tour of South Africa in 2018. Before getting dropped again, Raina had scored 298 runs in 13 T20Is at an average of 27.09 and a strike rate of 143.96 including a lone half-century.
Having scored 423 runs in 19 T20I innings at No. 4, Raina is the highest run-scorer at the given position among active Indian players. Raina, 33, has scored 803 runs in 33 T20Is at a strike rate of 142.88 and is only behind current India vice-captain Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli in the list of most T20I runs scored by Indian batsmen outside Asia.
Ambati Rayudu picks favourite IPL team between CSK and Mumbai Indians
Rayudu, who made his Indian Premier League debut for Mumbai Indians in 2010, had changed bases to Chennai before IPL 2018. In 114 IPL matches for MI in eight seasons, the right-hand batsman had scored 2,416 runs at an average of 27.15 and a strike rate of 126.16 including 16 half-centuries.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 2, 2020
Being asked about his favourite IPL franchise, Rayudu picked his current franchise in CSK and explained the difference between both the teams he has played for in the IPL.
“At CSK it’s pretty calm, they have a lot more faith in players ability, while MI is more ‘play-your-role’ kind of a setup. CSK fans are emotional like how south Indians are, they have knowledge. Even when playing for India we don’t see such fan base,” Rayudu said.
Other than Rayudu, batting coach Michael Hussey, batsman Faf du Plessis and all-rounders in Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo have also attended Instagram live session with the franchise during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.