'Rayudu was at 79 off 37 balls, then I ran him out. He came to me...': Raina narrates astonishing IPL moment
Suresh Raina narrated a brilliant IPL moment featuring Ambati Rayudu from his time with Chennai Super Kings.
The Chennai Super Kings are one of the most successful franchises in the Indian Premier League. With four IPL titles to their name – all coming under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy – CSK stand second, just behind Mumbai Indians who have won five titles so far. But one of CSK's most memorable seasons came in 2018 when the ‘men in yellow’ lifted the trophy for the third time; what made it special was the fact that the Super Kings were making a comeback to the league after two years, having faced a suspension.
The CSK enjoyed a superb run in the tournament and defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final to lift the title, and one of the members of the winning team – Suresh Raina – recalled the stellar season for the side during a segment for JioCinema. Raina spoke in detail about the charged-up emotions among the CSK players including Dhoni as they donned the jersey after two years, and also mentioned a moment from the season which further bolstered the team spirit.
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Raina recalled a group game against Sunrisers in Chennai, when he was batting alongside Ambati Rayudu; the latter had been playing an insane knock, scoring 79 off 37 deliveries. However, miscommunication between Raina and Rayudu led to the latter's dismissal but instead of being furious at a lost opportunity, Rayudu came to Raina and had words of encouragement for him.
“I felt better when Rayudu came to our team. I've been playing with him since 2002, with Mahi bhai since 2005, so the communication was really nice. Rayudu used to open sometimes, and I played at number 3,” Raina began as he narrated the tale.
"Against Sunrisers Hyderabad in that season, he played a great knock and played particularly well against Rashid Khan. But I made a mistake and he was run out. He was playing on 70 runs off some 25-30 balls (79 off 37 balls). But he came to me and said, ‘now, you have to score runs. Forget the run out’. I thought I ran him out, it was my fault, but he insisted that I have to stay at the crease now.
“Dhoni came, then, and we had a good partnership. Such was the team environemnt, everyone was happy for each other.”
Rayudu is still a part of the CSK side as they aim at a strong comeback in 2023; in the last year's edition, the Super Kings finished a dismal ninth in the league, winning only four of their 14 matches.