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Ambati Rayudu hasn’t done anything wrong: Gautam Gambhir

Rayudu has been pretty inconsistent after making a comeback.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

While India continue to search for a reliable number four batsman for the all-important World Cup, former opener Gautam Gambhir has opined that the team should have taken a final call on the position by now. India do not have any other assignment but their number four conundrum is yet to come to an end. The team-management had pinned their faith in Ambati Rayudu but he too has failed to put up consistent performances.

After a promising start, Rayudu has struggled for consistency since the start of 2019. He looked far from being comfortable in the testing conditions of Australia and New Zealand. He then had the chance to return back to his best in the home series against Australia. However, the right-hander, who made his comeback during the last year’s Asia Cup, failed to impress once again and is now doubtful for the World Cup.

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In the three matches he played, Ambati Rayudu scored 13, 18 and 2 before the team decided to drop him. In the remaining two games, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant were tried out at the number four position as it became very clear that India are yet to zero in on their playing eleven for the World Cup. And Gambhir feels a significant amount of time has already been lost.

The left-handed batsman, part of India’s World Cup-winning team in 2011, said that India should have backed Rayudu for the entire series against Australia. “If you want a settled batting order in the World Cup, then the No. 4 has to be decided beforehand and he should be backed completely,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by India Today.

“You have backed others too. You backed MS Dhoni too last year and even Shikhar Dhawan. Ambati Rayudu averages nearly 50 in ODIs, he hasn’t done anything wrong. Failures are part and parcel of the game. You didn’t drop any other player after two or three failures,” said the former India opener.

Gambhir’s advice

Gautam Gambhir had a word of advice for the Indian team management ahead of the all-important tournament. Highlighting the importance of number four position, he said that the team needs to back a player to the hilt and adviced against trying out a floater at that position.

“No. 4 should have been a settled position by now. Virat Kohli played the 2011 World Cup at No. 4. Whoever the team management decides to back should be backed to the hilt and they should stay patient with him. It is a very important slot and you can’t have a floater at No 4 because the No. 3 and No. 4 makes the core of your middle order,” he further added.

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