After hailing Ambati Rayudu's match-winning knock of 71 runs in the opener of IPL 2020 against defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday in Abu Dhabi and the manner in the "incredible" way in which he negated the pressure from Jasprit Bumrah, Chennai Super Kings teammate Shane Watson opined that Team India had lost World Cup 2019 as they didn't pick him in the middle order.
"Rayudu batted absolutely beautifully for his 71 (in 48 balls)," Watson said in a chat during his T20 Superstars podcast. "He is an incredibly talented batsman and I think it was a loss for India's one-day team by not picking him in the 2019 World Cup squad.
"To be able to take down Jasprit Bumrah like he did was incredible. He's got scoring options all around the ground. And he's got a fair bit of point to prove as well against his old team Mumbai."
Rayudu walked in at No.4 after CSK got off to a horrifying start in the opener. The new-ball pair of Trent Boult and James Pattinson picked one each as CSK went two down for six runs in the second over in their chase to 162 for nine. Rayudu teamed up with Faf du Plessis to put up a 115-run stand for the third wicket to take CSK a step away from victory. Faf stayed till the end to take CSK across the line.
Watson also hailed new recruits Piyush Chawla and Sam Curran who played a crucial role in CSK's five-wicket win.
"Piyush Chawla bowled incredibly well, getting the crucial wicket of Rohit Sharma," Watson said. "[His] 1 for 21 in four overs is an amazing start. Also, Sam Curran went for 28 runs in his spell and got the key wicket of Quinton de Kock. And then his cameo at the end, coming in when we needed a little bit of a burst in the run rate - 18 off six balls, what a start for him!"
CSK will next play against Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah on September 22 and will hope to bag their second victory against a side which will miss two of their superstars - Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.