MSK Prasad, who’s on his last series as a selector for the Indian team looked back on the axing of Ambati Rayudu just before the World Cup, admitting that he felt bad after the decision was made. Vijay Shankar replaced the Hyderabad batsman at the No.4 position right before the 2019 World Cup.
Last year this time, the 33-year-old batsman from Guntur was the favourite to make the No.4 position his own for the 2019 World Cup. However, after the lacklustre series against Australia t home, the right-hander brought his own downfall. In the series, the right-hander averaged 11 runs, scoring 33 runs in three games which eventually was the last time that he played in the Indian colours. He followed it up with another poor show in the IPL, while Vijay Shankar performed admirably well for the selectors to tip him over Rayudu.
MSK Prasad recently in an interview revealed that he felt bad for his fellow state player, admitting that he was always on the radar for Test selection. However, after Rayudu declined to take up the format more seriously, his place was pipped by Hanuma Vihari. However, since then, Rayudu has restricted himself to limited-overs format.
“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.
Added, his fitness too was an issue for the Indian team, with skipper Virat Kohli wanting to maintain the fitness standards in the team. Prasad added that the board gave the right-handed batsman a month at the NCA to improve his fitness. The former selector also reiterated that he felt bad for Rayudu after the snub.
“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,” he added.
“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."
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi