Out of bound India opener, Gautam Gambhir somewhat criticized the Team India management over the exclusion of Ambati Rayudu after the latter failed to clear the much-talked-about Yo-Yo Test.

Meanwhile, Rayudu got into One-day International squad against England on the back of a strong performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He finished as the fourth highest run-scorer with 602 runs in 16 games.

However, ahead of the United Kingdom (UK) tour, he failed to clear the much-debated Yo-Yo Test.

Gautam Gambhir, while speaking to Aaj Tak, stressed that the performance should be the sole criteria for selection. He feels that it is the job of the trainer to look after the fitness.

What is more important is performance. Suppose if a certain player is scoring close to 15 in Yo-Yo test, then it is the responsibility of the trainer to improve his fitness and take him to 16.1 or whatever the benchmark is. If they are bringing in fit players itself then what is the job of the trainer?” he said.

Mohammad Kaif, Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu misses to make it to the Team India squad for ODIs against England. PC: Getty Images.

It was not right to drop Rayudu:

The 36-year-old Gambhir admitted it was not right to drop Rayudu on the basis Yo-Yo test. He had scored a considerable amount of runs to come back into the contention for the national side. And the management should’ve given him some time to attain the required fitness to pass the test.

Rayudu performed exceptionally well in the IPL, but he was dropped only because of yo-yo test. If his score was around 14.5, the team management should’ve given him one month to work with the trainer and improve his fitness in order to clear the yo-yo test. Even if he wouldn’t have achieved the score, then it was fair to drop him,” Gautam Gambhir added.

The southpaw Gautam Gambhir also feels Team India could have won the series if Ambati Rayudu featured in the playing XI.

You never know India would’ve won the ODI series against England by 2-1 if Rayudu would’ve played in the middle-order where the visitors struggled,” Gambhir added.