Former Indian selector Gagan Khoda reveals why Ambati Rayudu was dropped for 2019 World Cup

Former Indian selector Gagan Khoda reveals why Ambati Rayudu was dropped for 2019 World Cup

The Hyderabad batsman criticised the selection panel right after the team was announced.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The loss that India underwent in the 2019 World Cup semi-final is still pinching everyone in the country of 13 billion people. It is often called just ’45 minutes of bad cricket’, but was it just 45 minutes? The selection panel and the team management have all been criticized for not developing a strong middle-order including the famous no. 4 debacles. Till the last game of the tournament, nobody knew who will be playing apart from 7-8 ascertained faces.

Ambati Rayudu, the experienced campaigner who was groomed to play at no. 4 in the World Cup was dropped 1 series ahead of the mega event. Young and inexperienced all-rounder Vijay Shankar was brought in because of his ‘3D’ potentials.

Rishabh Pant was not named in the side and Karthik pipped him for the 2nd keeper, later when Shankar got injured, Pant was brought in instead of Rayudu. All this created chaos and that is the last thing you want in the biggest cricketing event.

Gagan Khoda, a part of that selection panel has finally revealed why Rayudu was no picked. In a chat with Sportskeeda, the former cricketer said that the right-hander was not confident enough ahead of the ICC event and he was not at his best during that time.

“Ambati Rayudu was experienced and you were looking at the World Cup. We carried on with him for a year but we felt he was getting stagnant. The confidence level going into the World Cup wasn’t there. We couldn’t get any youngster in because the tournament was in England also,” Khoda said.

It was just one bad day that we had: Gagan Khoda

The cricket fraternity voiced their opinion that the lack of balance has caused India the title and with an experienced middle-order, things could have turned out differently.

Notably, India didn’t lose a single game in the tournament before eventually getting knocked out by New Zealand in the semifinal. The former selector, however, said that as per him the team didn’t have any loophole and it was just a bad phase of cricket which led them to lose the knockout clash.

“I never thought we were weak anywhere. It was just one bad day that we had. One day the match didn’t happen, the next day it happens and the momentum finishes. You have to start all over again, and it happens,” he added.

The Hyderabad batsman criticised the selection panel right after the team was announced. Later, he retired from cricket only to overturn his decisions a few months later. However, with Shreyas Iyer relishing the opportunity given to him after the World Cup, it will be difficult for the veteran cricketer to make his way back. He can see on the field next month when he will be wearing the yellow jersey for CSK.