It was disappointing to watch what they did with Rayudu: Yuvraj Singh slams team management

He was also saddened that Rayudu announced retirement from all forms of the game.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India’s defeat in the World Cup 2019 semi-final was an unexpected outcome. Not just the fact that they were the favourites to lift the title but that they lost chasing a modest target against New Zealand that disappointed people the most. In the aftermath, the failure has been blamed on the team management as it couldn’t find a solution for the no.4 crisis and former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh shared his perspective.

Yuvraj knows a thing or two about batting at the position having scored tons of runs for India at 4. He also ended up as the Player of the Tournament in 2011 having anchored the innings for the team most consistently in that World Cup. Yuvraj expressed that if the team management had given someone a longer rope at the spot, they should’ve persisted with him for the tournament as well.


It was Ambati Rayudu who was designated to bat at 4 right until the World Cup squad was announced. The selectors, however, unimpressed with his performance on the tours of Australia and New Zealand picked Vijay Shankar for the role instead. Yuvraj highlighted the fact that a similar scenario had unfolded in 2003 before the World Cup but the team persisted with the set of players they had backed leading into the mega event.

Should have been backed

“The team management should have groomed someone. If someone was failing at No. 4, the team management should have told that player that he was going to play the World Cup. Like in 2003 World Cup, we were playing New Zealand before the tournament, everybody was failing. But the same team played in the World Cup,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying by TOI in an interview.

Rayudu was through and through backed to be the no.4 batsman even captain Virat Kohli and the likes had expressly stated that in media interactions. For Yuvraj, the way the team management treated Rayudu was disappointing and to drop someone for a few failures wasn’t a wise decision.

Disappointing to watch what they did with Rayudu

“It was disappointing to watch what they did with Rayudu. He was in the contention for the World Cup. He got runs in New Zealand but after three or four bad innings, he got dropped,” Yuvraj said.

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“And then Rishabh (Pant) came in and he got dropped. If No. 4 is a crucial position in ODI cricket, if you want someone to do well in that position, you will have to back him. You can’t drop someone if he is unable to do well all the time.

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

In the World Cup, Team India initially started with KL Rahul at No.4, after the second match where Shikhar Dhawan sustained an injury, he was moved to the top. Now, Vijay Shankar got into the XI and played at 4, he fractured his toe after the West Indies game and was ruled out. Then, Rishabh Pant who was added to the squad as Dhawan’s replacement took the position.

Feel quite sad about Rayudu

“In between, the team had also tried Dinesh Karthik. Finally, we don’t know what their plan was for No. 4. They backed Rishabh again, he actually did well. If Rohit and Virat would get out early, we could get into trouble and everyone knew about that. We needed a solid No. 4. I didn’t understand the idea behind their plans,” Yuvraj found it difficult to understand what the team was trying to achieve with content changes.

“I also feel quite sad about Rayudu that he retired. It is unfortunate how they dealt with the whole situation. You are looking to go and play the World Cup and suddenly you don’t find a place,” he said about Rayudu’s abrupt retirement after being snubbed from the squad despite being named in the “back-ups”.