Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) title in the 2023 season of the T20 competition, defeating Gujarat Titans by five wickets at the legendary Narendra Modi Stadium.
The intense match was Ambati Rayudu’s final outing in the cash-rich league. The veteran batter revealed ahead of the match that he would hang up his boots after CSK’s final match against Gujarat in the competition.
Ambati Rayudu is a veteran of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He is one of the most accomplished players in the IPL too. In this blog, we will discuss the potential replacements for Ambati Rayudu for the future Indian Premier League.
Rayudu bids farewell to Cricket
After 14 years of playing in the IPL, the veteran batsman has decided to retire ahead of this season’s final against the Gujarat Titans. Rayudu has played for the two most successful franchises, Chennai and the Mumbai Indians (MI).
Rayudu scored a key cameo of 19 off eight deliveries in the IPL 2023 final. Chennai Super Kings won their fifth IPL title and ensured a fairytale ending to his long career.
He was vital in CSK’s last three titles. Particularly in 2018, when he led the team in run-scoring with 602 runs in 16 games. Between 2013 and 2017, Rayudu was also crucial to MI’s three victories.
Rayudu is known as one of the most versatile and selfless players. He ended his IPL career with 4,348 runs with a strike rate of 127.54 and an average of 28.23. Despite a poor final season with the bat, the 37-year-old made a few crucial cameos in the lower middle order, assisting CSK in tough situations.
Top replacement options for Ambati Rayudu
Rayudu was vital in the third title win of CSK in 2018 as the team’s highest run-scorer, with 602 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 149.75. After their legendary batter retired, CSK will now attempt to fill his shoes before the 2024 edition. They have three players that could replace Rayudu in the 2024 season.
#3 Narayan Jagadeesan
CSK could consider Narayan Jagadeesan as a replacement for the retired Ambati Rayudu in IPL 2024. The 27-year-old has spent his whole first-class career with Tamil Nadu. He was also a member of the CSK squad from 2018 to 2022. Despite limited chances due to CSK’s crowded middle order, the wicketkeeper-batter showed glimpses of his spin ability in the middle overs.
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bought him at a mini-auction in December 2022. But he only played six games as an opener and scored 89 runs.
With the return of the home and away format starting in the 2023 season, Jagadeesan’s expertise in playing local cricket in Chennai and having previously been part of the CSK system could be beneficial.
#2 Shubhranshu Senapati
Shubhranshu Senapati has been playing for Odisha since 2016. Based on his domestic experience, the CSK team management bought him for INR 20 lakh at the 2022 IPL auction. So yes, he has to play for the Super Kings.
Rayudu’s exit has left a need that Senapati may fill by using his key domestic experience and strengthening the CSK batting unit, as Rayudu did in his five-year stay. Senapati, 26, has played 32 domestic T20 matches, scoring 817 runs in 30 innings at a strike rate of 119.79.
In his 34 innings in 38 games, the 26-year-old has amassed 1131 runs and two tonnes, and seven fifties at a strike rate of 74.40 in List A cricket. Chennai Super Kings may allow him to showcase his skills and bolster their middle order with Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, and Ajinkya Rahane in the 2024 IPL season.
#1 Shaik Rasheed
Shaik Rasheed was a key figure in India’s Under-19 World Cup 2022 victory. He contributed significantly to Men in Blue’s triumph. He scored 201 runs with a pair of half-centuries in four matches at a strike rate of 65.90. Given his performance in the marquee competition, CSK also signed him for INR 20 lakh.
At only 18 years old, he established himself as a valuable substitute fielder. He also emerged as an impact substitute option during the IPL 2023. His great catch close to the boundary rope against Punjab Kings (PBKS) was one of the highlight moments. It draws huge attention and reaffirmed his potential as a future regular.
Rasheed did not play in Chennai’s starting XI. But the kid could be a future contender to fill Rayudu’s shoes. Given his batting abilities, CSK may allow him to show off his skills and become a key member of the team.