Ambati Rayudu, who announced his retirement in July after his non-selection in the ICC World Cup 2019, has returned. He made himself available to play for Hyderabad, though many felt his decision was taken suddenly and he has much cricket left in him. He was India’s first-choice number 4 batsman in 2018 and even captain Virat Kohli also backed him at that time. Unfortunately, a couple of bad shows left him out of the squad on many an occasion. However, he was earlier included in the reserves for the India team ahead of the World Cup but failed to make it to the 15-member squad.
“I was very disappointed,” Rayudu said in a recent interview with Cricbuzz. “I mean, anyone would be because I had worked so hard for it. I was very prepared for that specific role at No. 4, but maybe their idea of No. 4 might have changed all of a sudden. Maybe they just wanted something else…I’m not too sure.”
“It was very disappointing, but I’m sure they must have had some combinations or plans in mind. I was actually very, very prepared for playing the World Cup to be honest,” he told.
However, his reaction after his non-selection in the World Cup squad made headlines. He sarcastically tweeted about ordering 3D glasses to watch the World Cup. But he didn’t regret for this tweet.
While asking about this, he said, “Not at all. If it comes down to such things…I don’t know how to put it, but I don’t think that would’ve played any part. And if it did, I can’t imagine what cricketers must be going through honestly.”
“I had actually played quite well (leading into the World Cup). You can’t play well in every match. It’s not possible. It’s just that…I was batting well throughout that phase. I don’t know… I just feel unfortunate to have missed out,” shared Ambati Rayudu.
However, he was overlooked not once but twice. The second time was when Mayank Agarwal was chosen ahead of him as Vijay Shankar’s replacement during the World Cup.
He frankly admitted that he thought that maybe it was his time. Ambati Rayudu mused that he worked so hard towards being noticed but to no avail. That explained why he felt that it was time to move on and find other things.
However, it took 58 days for him to back in the circuit again. He said that VVS Laxman, Noel David and the CSK management helped him to return in cricket. After talking to them, he thought his decision was a bit hasty.
“Good people have spoken to me and said that maybe it’s not the right time. The CSK management, Laxman bhai, Noel bhai were constantly talking to me and I felt eventually that what they said made sense. I felt why should I give up on something that I have worked for 20-odd years to reach where I am. So obviously I thought it over and thought that maybe it’s a bit selfish on my part to just move on without giving anything back to the game while I still can play. I am still fit and can still play, so I think maybe it (the decision) was a little hasty,” expressed the Hyderabad batsman.
If he would’ve been asked last year what his goal was, it would’ve been playing for India in the World Cup. Now as the things changed, he is again back to basics and expected to make his return memorable.
Ambati Rayudu affirmed that he was not the type of person who felt that he had a point to prove. He pointedly ignored what people said about him and focused on what he thought he could achieve or not. The 33-year old knew that he could fulfill the role of a number 4 batsman, where flexibility was needed. However, he concluded that his focus is on doing well for Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings.