Full name Ambati Thirupathi Rayudu
Born September 23, 1985, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Current age 29 years 313 days
Major teams India, Baroda, Hyderabad (India), Hyderabad Heroes, ICL India XI, India A, Mumbai Indians
Playing role Middle-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Fielding position Occasional wicketkeeper
|ODI debut||Zimbabwe v India at Harare, Jul 24, 2013 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Zimbabwe v India at Harare, Jul 12, 2015 scorecard|
|Only T20I||England v India at Birmingham, Sep 7, 2014 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Uttar Pradesh v Baroda at Lucknow, Jan 5-8, 2015 scorecard|
|List A debut||2001/02|
|Last List A||Zimbabwe v India at Harare, Jul 12, 2015 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Goa v Hyderabad (India) at Visakhapatnam, Apr 3, 2007 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings at Kolkata, May 24, 2015 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|41||India||v Zimbabwe||Harare||12 Jul 2015||ODI # 3665|
|124*||India||v Zimbabwe||Harare||10 Jul 2015||ODI # 3662|
|44, 1/5||India||v Bangladesh||Dhaka||24 Jun 2015||ODI # 3661|
|0||India||v Bangladesh||Dhaka||21 Jun 2015||ODI # 3660|
|36*||Mum Indians||v Super Kings||Kolkata||24 May 2015||T20|
|10||Mum Indians||v Super Kings||Mumbai||19 May 2015||T20|
|-||Mum Indians||v Sunrisers||Hyderabad (Deccan)||17 May 2015||T20|
|2||Mum Indians||v KKR||Mumbai||14 May 2015||T20|
|14||Mum Indians||v RCB||Mumbai||10 May 2015||T20|
|34*||Mum Indians||v Super Kings||Chennai||8 May 2015||T20|
Ambati Rayudu was touted as India's next great batting hope ever since he started training at the National Cricket Academy in 2001. A pint-sized, fluent strokemaker with a compact technique, he blazed an unbeaten 177 - after opening the batting - as India's colts completed a clean sweep of a one-day series in England in 2002. The Ranji Trophy season that followed, his first, was also exceptional - including a double-century and a hundred in the same match against Andhra. However, he had to wait 11 more years before finally making his international debut, in a low-profile ODI series in Zimbabwe. Keen to make up for lost time, Rayudu responded with an unbeaten 63 on debut, becoming the third-oldest Indian, at 27 years and 304 days, to score a fifty on ODI debut.
Given that he was also captain of India's Under-19 team and led the side to the semis of the 2004 U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, an international call-up should have come much earlier. However, his batting over the next few years didn't matched initial expectations, and he was overtaken by several of his U-19 team-mates, including Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik. But Rayudu had more than his fair share of problems off the field. After a disappointing 2004-05 season with the bat, he had issues with the then Hyderabad coach and moved to Andhra the following season. He returned to Hyderabad the next season but started having trouble with the umpires on a few occasions. His consistency suffered, and when the Indian Cricket League came calling in 2007, he signed up along with a host of fellow Hyderabad team-mates. The opportunity to play alongside foreign stars in front of a television audience, he said, attracted him.
The ICL put a hold on his international prospects for two seasons before he accepted the BCCI's amnesty offer in 2009 and cancelled his contract. IPL franchise Mumbai Indians signed him and Rayudu impressed, scoring 356 runs including two half-centuries in the 2010 IPL. Mumbai re-signed him for the 2011 tournament and he did even better, scoring 395 runs to be the team's second-leading scorer behind Sachin Tendulkar. So impressive was Rayudu that India offspinner and Mumbai team-mate Harbhajan Singh was moved to call him "a special talent" and said he could see Rayudu playing for India. Rayudu enjoyed a successful India A tour of New Zealand, and had one of his best seasons in Ranji Trophy, averaging over 60. These performances earned him a maiden call-up to the India ODI squad for their tour of Zimbabwe, where he scored a debut fifty.
Dileep Premachandran and ESPNcricinfo staff
What makes this innocuous-seeming bowler so difficult to handle?