MSK Prasad: We had no bias against Ambati Rayudu

Rishabh Pant went to the World Cup because the team management asked for a left-hander and Mayank Agarwal came in because they asked for an opener, said MSK Prasad clearing the air on Ambati Rayudu's exclusion.

Ambati Rayudu announced his retirement from all formats of the game after failing to find his place as an injury replacement twice during the World Cup.   -  R. Senthil Kumar

At the outset the chairman of the senior national selection committee, MSK Prasad made it clear that he will first field questions relating to the  three teams selected for the West Indies tour and then give clarifications with regard to so called selection anomalies for the ICC World Cup.

He played three Test matches each against Australia and New Zealand from October 1999 to 2000, but it is as a national selector that he has made a connect with the media and the cricketing fraternity.

READ| Rayudu announces retirement from all forms of cricket

Prasad, 44,  introduced an element of wit when questions were directed at him about the non selection of Ambati Rayudu for the World Cup. He had ascribed Vijay Shankar’s selection because of the three-dimensional quality (batting, bowling and fielding) and hence was chosen ahead of Rayudu.

Presumably responding to Prasad’s statement, a normally reticent Rayudu sprang a surprise via his Twitter handle saying: "Ordered 3D glasses to watch World Cup.’’ Subsequently, after Mayank Agarwal replaced Vijay Shankar in the team, Rayudu, who was a standby, announced he was retiring from the game altogether.

On Sunday, Prasad was asked if Rayudu’s witty tweet came in the way of his selection mid way through the World Cup.

Without pausing Prasad said: "Frankly speaking that was a lovely tweet. I really enjoyed it. Seriously, it was a very timely one and  very sarcastic. I enjoyed it.’’

Sharing his thoughts on the replacements (Rishabh Pant for Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal for Vijay Shankar) effected during the World Cup, Prasad first regretted not communicating the same to media through a BCCI press release.  

Prasad further explained: "First of all, how much emotions have gone through anybody, the same emotions have gone through the selection committee too. When we pick any player and he does well we feel so happy for him."

"Similarly, when somebody out of emotions goes out in this way, the selection committee members also feel for it. But having said that, with regard to the decision that was taken is completely devoid of any bias or any favouritism. How much Rayudu is emotional, we were also emotional. We as ex-cricketers also feel him."

And when asked if India missed Rayudu at No. 4, Prasad replied: Do you think we lost the game (against New Zealand) because of No 4 ? Rishabh Pant played well, especially the way he batted in those conditions.’’