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Gautam Gambhir says Ambati Rayudu’s World Cup snub is ‘heartbreaking’

Though he felt Pant had blown away his chances of making it to the World Cup squad.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Ambati Rayudu’s omission from India’s World Cup squad has become the talk of the town with Gautam Gambhir becoming the latest high-profile name to comment on it. But unlike his bold nature, the former India opener said that seeing Rayudu getting the axe after just three failures is “heartbreaking”. He, however, made it clear that Rishabh Pant‘s exclusion should not be debated, stating that the young wicketkeeper-batsman did not make the most of his chances.

Rayudu was the latest in India’s long list of players who were tried out at number four. After a two-year hiatus, he returned to the Indian team during the last year’s Asia Cup and impressed immediately on the slow and tough pitches of UAE. He then scored a century in the home series against Windies at home.

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Rayudu also played some handy knocks in the subsequent tours of Australia and New  Zealand before failing to do well in the home series against the former. That form made the selectors re-think about their decision to make Rayudu the No.4 batsman in the team and they decided against it.

On the other hand, Pant was given a chance to claim his spot in the World Cup squad. He made his debut during the home series against Windies but failed to do well. The youngster then failed to live up to the expectations during the T20I series in New Zealand before his horror show with the wicketkeeping gloves in the final two ODIs against Australia.  The selectors recalled veteran Dinesh Karthik as the backup for MS Dhoni.

Gambhir, however, is not all sympathetic with Pant but expressed his disappointment over Rayudu’s exclusion. “I think there should be no debate about Rishabh Pant’s exclusion but more about Ambati Rayudu. It is very, very unfortunate that someone averaging 48 in white-ball cricket and is only 33 has been left out. That for me is more heartbreaking than any other selection decision,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by Outlook.

Gambhir recalls his own heartbreaking moment

Gautam Gambhir was still very young in his career when he was not picked for the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. Recalling that tough moment, he said that it is too difficult to handle the snub as he said he feels sorry for Rayudu.

“I feel sorry for him as I was in a similar position in 2007 when they (erstwhile selectors) didn’t pick me and I know how difficult it is not being picked for the World Cup. Ultimately for any young kid, it is a childhood dream to be a part of the big event. So, I feel sorry for Rayudu more than any other cricketer, who hasn’t been picked,” said Gambhir who helped India win the World Cup in 2011.

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