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VVS Laxman stands by Ambati Rayudu, likens his situation to his own in 2003

Rayudu was being backed as India’s probable No.4 batsman for the upcoming WC but his poor form in 2019 eventually saw him losing the race to newcomer Vijay Shankar.

MS Dhoni & Ambati Rayudu
MS Dhoni & Ambati Rayudu. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He perhaps understood the pain more vividly since he himself had also been at the receiving end in the past. Former India batsman VVS Laxman recently spoke over the much-debated issue of exclusion of Ambati Rayudu from India’s World Cup squad and felt the latter had all he could to get a berth. The former Hyderabadi batsman also likened Rayudu’s experience with his own during the 2003 World Cup. Despite being at the peak of his batting form, Laxman was ignored for the WC that year.

Rayudu was being backed as India’s probable No.4 batsman for the upcoming WC but his poor form in 2019 eventually saw him losing the race to newcomer Vijay Shankar. Rayudu did not hide his frustration as he posted a sarcastic ‘3D’ tweet after getting overlooked. However, the Indian board did not take any action taking into consideration the players’ emotions. Rayudu though was in the Indian squad that took part in the 2015 WC but didn’t get a game.

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“It will be very disappointing for Rayudu because I felt he had done everything possible to be in that squad. Since the West Indies series (Oct 2018), where he was asked to bat at No. 4, he has consistently performed in that position. He was the highest run-getter in the series, so I was a little surprised they didn’t go with the experience of Rayudu even after performing,” Laxman was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times about Rayudu, who also plays for Hyderabad.

Important to bounce back strongly, feels Laxman

“It will be very, very painful. I have experienced that in 2003. But as an international sportsperson, it is important to bounce back strongly, and I hope Rayudu does that.” Laxman had come back with a strong form in the limited overs and did well when India toured Australia later that year even though he was known more for his Test exploits.

Laxman though spoke highly about Vijay who is playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, a team mentored by the former, in the ongoing Indian Premier League. He called Vijay a “talented” player and hoped he grabbed the massive opportunity that has come his way.

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