One of the brightest spots of IPL 2018 was Ambati Rayudu, whose explosive batting was a key factor in CSK’s success.

The Hyderabad batsman amassed 602 runs and the form he displayed helped him find a way back into the ODI side where he has produced consistent performances in the Asia Cup and against Windies, helping India find a reliable batsman in the middle-order.

Speaking at the launch of the fifth edition of the Junior Super Kings inter-school T20 championship, Rayudu credited the faith skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and team management showed in him for his success.

“Playing aggressively and playing aggressively with confidence is an entirely different thing. With Dhoni showing belief, you have the confidence to go out there and express yourself, knowing you have the backing,” said Rayudu.

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Earlier, Rayudu quit first-class cricket to concentrate on shorter formats and the batsman said at 33, he wanted to manage the workload especially since he has had a knee injury in the recent past.

When asked about the lack of match practice ahead of the upcoming one-day series against Australia and New Zealand, Rayudu felt it wont hamper his form saying, “Match practice is important but there is a huge difference between red ball cricket and white ball cricket. You can compensate by practising and playing other games.”

Last year CSK focused a lot on getting its former players back during the auction after it returned to the IPL after two years. The team continued, in the same way, during the 2019 auctions buying pacer Mohit Sharma who had been a part of the side for three years.

On returning to CSK, Mohit said, “It feels good to be back with CSK. Whether you are coming from the office or coming after travelling the world, it is good to come back home. I might have played for other teams in the past three years but I am always known as a CSK player.”

The pacer also added he missed being part of CSK and playing under skipper M.S. Dhoni saying, “For the past three years, it was always at the back of my mind that had I been playing for CSK, it would have been better for me. The reason is, of course, CSK’s fantastic environment which brings about a lot of positive changes in you.”

“The MS Dhoni factor is always there. The way he handles his players after understanding their strengths and weaknesses makes a lot of difference. He has taught me how to walk on the cricket field. A lot of credit goes to Mahi bhai  for my success,” added Mohit.