Suresh Raina, who recently announced his international retirement, has stated that he wanted his Chennai Super Kings teammate Ambati Rayudu to be India’s number four for the 2019 World Cup. Rayudu had made a good case for himself before the ODI showpiece as he had come up with consistent performances. In fact, the right-hander was an integral part of the team for more than a year before the mega event.
Rayudu had impressed with his performances as he had scored 1694 runs in 55 ODIs at an impressive average of 47.06. Ergo, it was shocking to note his exclusion from the World Cup squad. However, Rayudu didn’t have the best of the IPL 2019 as he could only muster 282 runs in 17 innings at an average of 23.5 and thus he had to pay the price.
Ambati Rayudu was unlucky to miss out in the 2019 World Cup
Former Indian chief selector MSK Prasad went on to select an inexperienced Vijay Shankar for his 3-D skills. Furthermore, Rayudu was not given the chance when Shankar was ruled out of the World Cup due to toe injury as Rishabh Pant was named as the replacement.
Rayudu was frustrated at being left out of the World Cup squad and he went on to announce his retirement but later took a U-turn on the same. Meanwhile, Raina was picked for India’s tour of England in 2018 when Rayudu could not clear the Yo-Yo Test. Raina stated that he didn’t felt good about the same.
“I wanted Rayudu to be India’s number four because he was working very hard, playing almost one and half years. He performed really well and he wasn’t there. I didn’t enjoy the tour in 2018 because of the circumstances where Rayudu failed his fitness test. It didn’t feel good that I was picked as he failed,” Raina was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.
Rayudu had the experience under his belt and it was a shocking decision from the selectors to leave him out of the World Cup team. The right-hander deserved his place and it could have been a different story altogether had he been part of the team. India’s bleak middle order was exposed in the semi-final contest against New Zealand as they crumbled like a pack of cards.
“He was good at number four. If he was part of the squad for the World Cup, we would have won the tournament. Rayudu was the best choice and as it’s the way he plays the game in the CSK. And he was batting really well in the camp in Chennai,” he added.
Both Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu would be seen playing together for CSK in the upcoming season of the IPL, all set to begin in the UAE from September 19.