Captain MS Dhoni didn't shy to hail Ambati Rayudu after he scored a match-winning 79-run knock in Chennai Super Kings' four-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday.
Ambati Rayudu (79 off 37) and Suresh Raina (54 not out off 43) lifted Chennai's total after being put into bat.
Hyderabad restricted Chennai to 54/2 by the halfway mark, but conceded 95 runs in the last seven overs against some clean hitting by No. 4 batsman Rayudu.
"Rayudu has been fantastic. One of the questions was where do we play him? He can bat at all numbers, but I'd prefer to see him opening, where he looks very dangerous," Dhoni said.
Chennai overcame a late onslaught from Kane Williamson and Yusuf Pathan to beat Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League thriller.
Williamson scored a classy 84 off 51 balls and Yusuf fought a bad back to hit a rapid 45 off 27 before Hyderabad was restricted to 178/6 in reply to Chennai's 182/3.
Rashid Khan nearly pulled off victory for Hyderabad, smashing 17 off just four deliveries, including a six and a four off Dwayne Bravo in the last over.
With six required off the last ball, Bravo bowled a perfect yorker to Rashid and conceded only a single. The win took Chennai to the top of the table with eight points from five matches.
"I think the wickets have become better compared to the first few years of the IPL," Chennai captain said.
"But as we progress toward the knockouts, you will see the bowlers come up with new plans, and getting the big scores won't be so easy."
Rashid did well with the bat but, as a legspinner, he again proved expensive (1-49) despite getting Faf du Plessis (11) stumped off his first ball.
Rayudu's last 48 runs came off just 16 balls and he smashed nine fours and four sixes before getting run out in a mix-up with Raina in the 17th over.
Raina raised his first half-century in this year's IPL and hit five fours and two sixes before Dhoni gave the innings a perfect finish with a 12-ball unbeaten 25.
Hyderabad missed injured Shekhar Dhawan in the top order and slumped to 22/3 inside the batting powerplay with medium fast Deepak Chahar (3/15) claiming three wickets in his first three overs.
But Williamson and Yusuf took charge in the latter half of the innings with a 79-run stand off 45 balls before both fell in successive overs.
Williamson, who hit six fours and five sixes, was outfoxed by Bravo off a slower delivery in the 18th over and Ravindra Jadeja plucked a brilliant two-handed diving catch in the deep.
Yusuf followed Williamson when he skied a catch off medium fast Shardul Thakur before Rashid's little cameo couldn't take Hyderabad all the way.
(With AP inputs)