Thursday 4 July 2019 2:45 AM UTC
MUMBAI July 5: Gautam Gambhir has lashed out at the selection panel after Ambati Rayudu decided to quit cricket. The 33-year-old Rayudu was in contention for the World Cup 2019 squad but lost his place to all-rounder Vijay Shankar.
After that, when India’s opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan got injured and was ruled out of the tournament, Rishabh Pant was called up as his replacement.
Later in the tournament, Vijay Shankar was also ruled out due to a toe injury but even then, the team management decided to include Mayank Agarwal in the 15-member squad ahead of Ambati Rayudu.
Speaking on Rayudu’s decision to call it quits, Gambhir stated that it was a sad moment for Indian cricket.
“A cricketer like him that has played so well in the IPL and for the nation, scored three 100’s and ten 50’s, and despite that if a player has to retire – it is a sad moment for Indian cricket,” Gambhir was quoted as saying during the pre-match show of the England vs New Zealand league fixture on Wednesday.
Gambhir further went on to say that the five-member selection panel combined cannot score the amount of runs Rayudu has scored for the country.
“Five selectors combined would not have made the runs Rayudu has in his career. I feel extremely sad about this retirement. Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal got selected amidst the World Cup injuries, and anyone in Rayudu’s place would have felt equally bad,” Gambhir added.
Gambhir also added that selectors have been a complete “disappointment.”
“According to me, the selectors have been a complete disappointment this World Cup. Rayudu’s retirement decision is because of them and their decision-making skills are to be blamed for this,” Gambhir said.
Declared the preferred No.4 batsman by captain Virat Kohli not many months ago, Rayudu was ignored as Vijay Shankar got the nod in India’s final squad for the big event.
Rayudu reacted on his omission with a sarcastic tweet that he would watch the World Cup wearing 3D glasses, in an obvious reference to chief selector MSK Prasad’s defence of Vijay Shankar’s selection.
Prasad had said that the Tamil Nadu player brings three dimensions to the table – as a middle order batsman who could bowl at medium pace and is also a handy fielder – and that was the reason he got the nod ahead of Rayudu.
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