Former chief selector MSK Prasad has opened up about the exclusion of middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu from the national team. The 45-year-old has expressed that he felt bad for Rayudu’s exit from the Indian side.
Rayudu was India’s go-to man in 2019, but right before the start of the World Cup, the Andhra Pradesh-born was dropped from the squad.
In an interview with Sportstar, Prasad revealed that Rayudu was picked on the grounds of his IPL performances in the One-Day International (ODI) team. The committee focused on Rayudu’s fitness as well, but it’s unfortunate as he was dropped from the WC squad, it was really a touch and go issue.
“I felt seriously for Rayudu. I can clearly say that. It was 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. If you remember, based on the IPL performances, we picked him for ODIs, which may not look appropriate to many,” said Prasad as quoted by Sportstar.
“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,” added Prasad.
Prasad rated the South Africa and England tours as the major disappointments during his tenure, along with the 2019 WC semi-final match against New Zealand.
“Personally, the disappointments were the South Africa and England tours. Though the boys played well, the end-result was not satisfying. Or, we can say our team was capable of a much better performance. Well, as far as the 2019 World Cup was concerned, we played like champions but for that one-off day in the semi-final,” Prasad added further.
Rayudu played 55 ODI matches for India, in which he scored 1694 runs with an average of 47. The 34-year-old smashed ten half-centuries and three hundreds.