IPL 2021: Gautam Gambhir on CSK skipper MS Dhoni. Photo | AFP/IPL Photograph:( Twitter )
IPL 2021: Former Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) captain Gautam Gambhir picked his standout player from MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) since their readmission in 2018.
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) made their way back to the IPL in the 2018 edition, after their two-year suspension on account of the infamous spot-fixing scandal. Since then, the MS Dhoni-led franchise have remained one of the most consistent sides -- like they were before the suspension -- but endured a forgettable campaign in IPL 2020. Nonetheless, the Yellow Army continue to be one of the most-followed IPL franchises to date. Since their return, they have added one more trophy to their cabinet (in 2018) and plethora of fans worldwide.
CSK also comprise plenty of match-winners in the form of Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Imran Tahir, Dwayne Bravo, Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shadul Thakur, Ambati Rayudu, etc. Recently, former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Gautam Gambhir picked CSK's standout player, since their return, among the plethora of talented and superstar cricketers the Dhoni-led franchise consist of.
Not Ravindra Jadeja, Faf, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dhoni or Bravo
Gambhir said on Star Sports, "I believe Ambati Rayudu has been the player of the franchise since he joined CSK. He scored runs when he opened or played at No.3 or No.4, he has delivered in whichever position he has played. It is very difficult when your batting order is being shuffled but despite that the way he bats. He had an impact when he used to open with Watson, today he is playing at No.4 and he has a similar impact. We might talk about Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and the others, but he has probably been the player of the franchise in the last three-four years," he opined.
Rayudu has played a total of 58 games for the CSK franchise, amassing 1495 runs at an average of 35.59 and a strike-rate of 130.11. He was one of the CSK's top performers in their 2018 title-winning season whereas continues to be among runs in IPL 2021. Rayudu was also CSK's top-scorer in their 3-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals (DC), on Monday (October 4), in match 50 of IPL 14 in Dubai.
He will like to continue in a similar manner in the playoffs and help Dhoni & Co. win their fourth IPL title.