‘He was getting stagnant’: Former selector explains Ambati Rayudu’s omission from 2019 World Cup squad
The MSK Prasad-led selection committee sprung up a surprise when they omitted Rayudu from the squad and picked Vijay Shankar instead. It led to a lot of controversy with many feeling that Rayudu was wronged in the situation.Updated: Aug 10, 2020 12:50 IST
Heading into the 2019 World Cup, it looked like Ambati Rayudu was lock-in for the squad after being the preferred choice for Team India at the no.4 slot for the last one year. But the MSK Prasad-led selection committee sprung up a surprise when they omitted Rayudu from the squad and picked Vijay Shankar instead. It led to a lot of controversy with many feeling that Rayudu was wronged in the situation.
Then Rayudu posted a sarcasm-laden ‘3D’ tweet which led to widespread debate on social media. The no.4 slot eventually turned out to be India’s Achilles heel at the World Cup as they bowed in the semis to New Zealand with the batsmen failing at the penultimate hurdle.
Part of the decision-making team in the selection committee, Gagan Khoda talked about the controversial choice in an interview with Sportskeeda. He said that Rayudu’s confidence going into the 2019 World Cup was low and that played into the minds of the selectors.
“Ambati Rayudu was experienced and you were looking at the World Cup. We carried on with him for a year but we felt he was getting stagnant. The confidence level going into the World Cup wasn’t there. We couldn’t get any youngster in because the tournament was in England also.”
He had subsequently announced his retirement when the World Cup was in progress. However, he made a comeback to the game in August and led Hyderabad in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournaments.
MSK Prasad also opened up on the episode and admitted that he felt bad for the Hyderabad cricketer.
“I felt seriously for Rayudu. I can clearly say that. It was a very touch and go issue. Our committee always felt that he should be on the radar of Test selection after the 2016 Zimbabwe tour. And, I spoke to him as to why he was not focussing on Test cricket,” Prasad told Sportstar in an interview.