Earlier this month, the BCCI announced the India squad that would tackle the World Cup 2019 in England. Interestingly, Ambati Rayudu, the man who starred in the Asia Cup, has missed out on a berth in the World Cup 2019 team. This decision did not sit well with cricketer-turned politician, Gautam Gambhir.
Gautam Gambhir wrote in his Times of India column, “It is disgusting to see that he (Rayudu) is being judged more on his IPL form and less on his overall skill-set. I am not a big fan of statistics as they never tell the whole story,”
Gautam Gambhir even spoke about India’s bowling options, particularly the fast-bowling trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. He felt that there was still something missing on that front.
He continued, “I must say I am surprised by the fact that we are going in with just three specialist fast bowlers. I tried to visit and then revisit this fact but I have still not been able to get my head around these selections.”
“I have always believed that whatever be the format, it is the batsmen who set up the games and bowlers are the ones who win them. Therefore, I feel we are a little light in the fast-bowling department,”
Coming back to Rayudu, his initial form ended discussions surrounding the much-debated number four slot. However he began to drop off and faced failure after failure, and just like that, the dream was gone.
As a result, the batter lost his hard-earned place in the national side. Missing out on a berth in the 15-member World Cup squad was just another nail in the coffin. Instead, national chief selector, MSK Prasad, confirmed that 28-year old Vijay Shankar would be deployed at that position.
Rayudu has also had a miserable campaign so far in IPL 2019, despite his team, Chennai Super Kings, riding high. But Gautam Gambhir feels that Rayudu’s IPL performance should not be a criterion in World Cup 2019 selection.