‘I feel bad for him’ – MSK Prasad on Ambati Rayudu’s exclusion from World Cup 2019 squad
With Prasad's tenure nearing its conclusion, the 44-year-old has finally opened about Rayudu's snub from India's World Cup squad.
Updated - Feb 5, 2020 9:47 am
Since donning the chief selector’s hat in 2015, MSK Prasad has been involved in taking many significant decisions. One of the highlights of Prasad’s tenure was his decision of giving ample opportunities to young prospects including the likes of Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. The Indian side certainly delivered impressive performances under the reign of Prasad but failed to clinch titles at any ICC event.
Prasad’s decisions undoubtedly left an impact on Team India. However, his few decisions received also received flak including his call to exclude Ambati Rayudu from India’s World Cup 2019 squad.
Rayudu was in the standby list for the World Cup but even after injuries to Shikhar Dhawan and Shankar, he failed to squeeze into the side as the selectors and the team management picked Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal as replacements. It even got off to a point where Rayudu announced his retirement from all formats of cricket post his exclusion.
‘It was a touch and go issue’: MSK Prasad
With Prasad’s tenure nearing its conclusion, the 44-year-old has finally opened about Rayudu’s snub from India’s World Cup squad. Prasad rued Rayudu missing the opportunity to don the Indian jersey in World Cup 2019 and said that the committee always felt that the right-hander was on the radar of Test selection. In an interview with Sportstar, Prasad revealed that the decision of Rayudu’s omission was 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,” he added.