MSK Prasad defends call on Ambati Rayudu but BCCI official counter questions

MSK Prasad defends call on Ambati Rayudu but BCCI official counter questions

A senior BCCI official questioned the criteria of fitness test which is being followed for national selection.

MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chief selector MSK Prasad met the press in Mumbai on Sunday to announce the Indian squads for the upcoming West Indies tour. Virat Kohli will lead India in all the three formats in the Caribbeans during the month-long tour. The selectors chose a number of fresh faces in the squads seeking a transition in the team looking for the long term.

Prasad also spoke on the Ambati Rayudu issue during the press meet. Rayudu was ignored by the selectors while picking the Indian squad for the World Cup although he was tried as India’s No. 4 batsman for a long time keeping the mega event in mind.

Rayudu was pipped by Vijay Shankar who Prasad even praised as a “three-dimensional cricketer” because of his all-round capacity. Rayudu had made a cheeky tweet after getting ignored saying he had ordered a set of 3D glasses to watch the World Cup. The Hyderabad batsman had been kept as a standby then but to his utter disappointment, he was not called even after two members from the original squad – both batsmen – were ruled out due to injuries.

While Rishabh Pant came in for Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal was roped in when Vijay was ruled out with a toe injury. Rayudu called it quits immediately after. Prasad said on Sunday that he had enjoyed Rayudu’s sarcastic tweet and tried his best to defend the decision to ignore Rayudu, who had also come close but missed playing the 2015 World Cup.

Decision was not biased, says Prasad

“There were certain programmes to see Rayudu comes into the setup. We (selection committee) don’t have anything against a particular player. When Rayudu was picked for the ODIs on the basis of his T20 performance, there was criticism, but we had some thoughts about him. When he failed the fitness test, we put him on a fitness programme. Due to certain combinations, he wasn’t picked, it doesn’t make the selection committee biased,” India Today cited reports quoting Prasad as saying.

However, not all were convinced. A senior BCCI official questioned the criteria of fitness test which is being followed for national selection. “Who decided on the fitness criteria and has there been an official communication on the same? If there was no criteria officially communicated or discussed or approved by the board, how could one fail it? Seems that the selector didn’t really check all the dimensions before making this statement,” the official said.

These are clear indications that the board was not happy with the way the selectors and team management had handled the Rayudu episode.