Team India had faced issues for their No. 4 position ever since Yuvraj Singh was out of the squad in mid-2017. Since then, it has become a musical chair where many have been tested including Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey and a few. However, this turmoil continued in the 50-over 2019 World Cup in England and Wales too.
Ambati Rayudu was given a lot of chances at this position after his heroics for MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2018. While it was looking like he was sure to travel with the team in the marquee event, he failed to make it to the cut after seeing a rough patch against Australia at home just before the World Cup. Despite scoring two crucial half-centuries and a century at the much-debated position, his form led him out of the team as well.
Recently, former India selector Gagan Khoda told in an interview with Sportskeeda, “Ambati Rayudu was experienced and you were looking at the World Cup. We carried on with him for a year but we felt he was getting stagnant. The confidence level going into the World Cup wasn’t there. We couldn’t get any youngster in because the tournament was in England also.”
While Khoda has a view over the dropping of Ambati Rayudu, it made no sense as Virat Kohli & Co. had openly referred to him as their No. 4 batsman in late 2018. However, his absence was felt during the crunch situation of India’s 240-run-chase versus New Zealand in the semi-finals which India failed to do and lost the game as well as their hope to win the world cup.
The former selector also opined on what went wrong for Virat Kohli-led India in the tournament. “I never thought we were weak anywhere. It was just one bad day that we had. One day the match didn’t happen, the next day it happens and the momentum finishes. You have to start all over again, and it happens,” he concluded.