Indian Cricketers, Captain's Backing, Ambati Rayudu,
Ambati Rayudu (Photo Credit: Getty Images.)

Last Update on: February 5th, 2020 at 11:02 am

Chief of India’s selection panel MSK Prasad has opened up on the Ambati Rayudu episode that rocked Indian cricket last year. Ambati Rayudu had sensationally announced his retirement from international cricket while the World Cup was underway in England. The right-handed batsman was looking set to be India’s number four at the World Cup.

However, the selectors dropped a big surprise by choosing an inexperienced Vijay Shankar ahead of him. He did have a poor home series against Australia but overall he had done reasonably well since returning to the team in 2018. He performed well in the Asia Cup before scoring a century against West Indies at home. His 90-run knock in the testing conditions of New Zealand still remains one of the best knocks played by the Indians that year.

MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad (Credits: Twitter)

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And as if that snub was not enough, the selectors did not even name him in the squad after India lost two players due to injury. Instead, the MSK Prasad-led panel picked Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal to replace Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar respectively. What was even more baffling that Rayudu was in the standby list while uncapped Agarwal was nowhere in contention for the World Cup spot.

Rayudu finally decided to announce his retirement from international cricket after the series of setbacks before overturning his decision a couple of months later. He represented Hyderabad in Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy before deciding to skip the Ranji Trophy due to politics in team-selection.

MSK Prasad said that he is hurt and feels bad for Ambati Rayudu. The former India wicketkeeper, who recalled Rayudu in 2018, said that the batsman was even in contention to make it to the Test team

“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,” MSK Prasad told Sportstar.

“If you remember, based on the IPL performances, we picked him for ODIs, which may not look appropriate to many. Then, we focussed on his fitness for one month at the NCA, helped him there. He has delivered to an extent. Unfortunately, I am also hurt at what happened to him (apparently referring to the 2019 World Cup selection when Rayudu was ignored) having played with him. I feel bad for him,” he added.

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