Ambati Rayudu‘s inclusion in the One-Day International squad for the tour of England was one of the biggest talking points since the selectors announced the team on Tuesday (May 15). But while many feel Rayudu duly deserved the selection, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly holds a different view.
The batting legend has expressed his surprise over Rayudu getting preferred over Ajinkya Rahane. Backing Rahane, Ganguly said the Mumbaikar is a far superior player in England.
“Ajinkya Rahane has missed out on limited-overs squad. A harsh decision,” Ganguly told India Today.
“I would still pick Ajinkya Rahane ahead of Ambati Rayudu. Ajinkya Rahane is a far superior player in England where the ball is going to move. He has got a good record in England,” he added.
Ambati Rayudu (Credits: BCCI)
The team-management pinned its hopes on Rahane to solve the number four woes.
The number four spot has been a significant area of concern for the team management. Since Sri Lanka toured in July-August last year, the team has experimented extensively but without much success.
Quick Read: BCCI Announces A Squad for England Tour
The likes KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik, were tried for that position, but none of them managed to impress.
Rahane was granted the chance to make that spot his own earlier this year in South Africa. He began the series with an impressive 86-ball 79. However, in the subsequent games, he could only manage scores of 11, 8, 8 and 34*.
Rahane (Credits: BCCI)
Rahane also enduring a tough Indian Premier League as well. The Rajasthan Royals skipper has scored only 239 runs in ten games. On the other hand, Ambati Rayudu is the second on the list of leading run-scorer. The 32-year has scored 423 runs in ten matches.
Ganguly further hailed selectors’ decision to recall Shreyas Iyer for the ODI series against England.
However, the 45-year old questioned the move to ignore the youngster for the one-off Test at home against Afghanistan.
“Shreyas Iyer is in the England ODI side which is a good decision. Karun Nair (in the Test squad vs Afghanistan) is a bit of a surprise. I am surprised that Shreyas Iyer has not been picked for the one-off Test considering he’s been brilliant for Delhi in the IPL,” Ganguly said.
The three-match ODI series starts at Trent Bridge on July 12. After that, India will play a three-match T20I series.