Ambati Rayudu has “ordered [three-dimensional] glasses” to watch the Cricket World Cup 2019, a day after he was excluded from the Indian squad for the marquee event . “Three-dimensional” all-rounder Vijay Shankar was preferred over Rayudu for the No. 4 spot.
“Just ordered a new set of [three-dimensional] glasses to watch the World Cup,” Rayudu wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
Rayudu was left out months after captain Virat Kohli had more or less earmarked him for the No. 4 spot. Justifying his omission, M. S. K. Prasad, the chief selector, said, “We did give a few more chances to Rayudu but Vijay Shankar gives three dimensions. He can bat, if the conditions are overcast, he can bowl, plus he is a fielder. We are looking at Vijay Shankar as a No. 4.”
Prasad’s view was endorsed by former Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar called Shankar a “very handy cricketer.”
In his quest to ramp up his limited-overs game, Rayudu had even given up on white-ball cricket, but he has struggled to be consistent. Three poor outings against Australia in the five-match ODI series at home seemed to have contributed in the selectors’ final choice. So far, Rayudu has also not been able to light up the Indian Premier League as he would have liked.
While he enjoys an average of 47.05 in 55 ODIs, the three failures against Australia hurt him. The batsman had been the team’s No. 4 batsman since the Asia Cup in 2018. Between then and the home series against Australia, Rayudu scored one century and four fifties. A 113-ball 90 in New Zealand earlier this year paved the way for India’s victory after it was tottering at one stage.
Rayudu played only two ODIs during the tour of Australia, but was the highest run-getter for India in the ODIs on the tour of New Zealand, scoring 190 runs in five innings at an average of 63.33 and a strike-rate of 82.25. But these performances were not enough for him ensure a spot in the World Cup squad.
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