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We didn’t do anything against Ambati Rayudu, says MSK Prasad

Rayudu was India's preferred No.4 batter in the lead up to the World Cup was out of favour when it mattered the most.

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

Former India middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu found himself at the receiving end of India’s bizarre team selection during the recent Cricket World Cup and out of disappointment, he decided to hang up his boots. The popular mood said the 33-year-old Hyderabad batsman had to pay the cost of a tweet made after he failed to make it to the World Cup squad in April. Though chief selector MSK Prasad defended their act on Sunday while announcing the Indian squads for the upcoming West Indies tour.

Rayudu was backed as India’s No.4 batsman for months in the run-up to the World Cup. However, because of a dry run with his bat in 2019, his chances looked to be under threat and eventually, Vijay Shankar pipped him to make it to the squad. After the team was unveiled on April 15, Prasad praised Vijay as a “three-dimensional cricketer” saying he could do well in all the three departments.

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It was a moment of big low for Rayudu and he made a cheeky tweet soon after saying he had ordered a set of 3D glasses to watch the World Cup. The story hadn’t ended there. Rayudu was still kept as one of India’s standby batsmen for the World Cup squad. But his moment still never came.

Rayudu was never called up as World Cup replacement despite injuries

India had too serious injuries in their squad and opener Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay himself got ruled out because of them. But while India preferred to call up wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant as a replacement for Dhawan, they called up Mayank Agarwal, who is still to play in an ODI, as Vijay’s replacement. Rayudu tendered his resignation as a cricketer immediately after.

The matter came up again when Sunday when Prasad met the press to announce the Indian squads for the Windies tour featuring three T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests. He defended the decision of not picking Ambati for the World Cup saying there were “combinations and permutations” at work.

“There was criticism when we picked Rayudu after his 2017-18 T20 form. When he failed fitness test, we backed him. Due to some combinations & permutations we didn’t pick him for the World Cup. We didn’t do anything against him. We are also emotional,” Prasad was quoted as saying while nullifying the allegations that Rayudu had been purposefully directed after his cheeky tweet came online.

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