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ICC World Cup 2019: Gautam Gambhir Feels There Should Be More Debate Over Rayudu’s Exclusion

“That for me is more heart-breaking than any other selection decision.”

The biggest talk of the town currently in Indian cricket is the 15-member squad announcement for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The MSK Prasad-led selection committee conveniently announced the final 15-member Indian squad for the quadrennial event on April 15, Monday. There were many surprising inclusions and omissions made which created a lot of buzz on the various social media platforms. Many of the former Indian cricketers also revealed their respective opinions on the team selection.

It is very unfortunate

The recent name in the list to forth his opinion is former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir. During a recent conversation, Gambhir mentioned that there should not be any debate over Rishabh Pant’s exclusion from the side and rather the talking point is Ambati Rayudu’s omission. The former cricketer stated that it is very much unfortunate that a batter like Rayudu who averages 48 in the white-ball format has not been included in the World Cup team.

“I think there should be no debate about Rishabh Pant’s exclusion but more about Ambati Rayudu. It is very, very unfortunate that someone averaging 48 in white-ball cricket and is only 33 has been left out. That for me is more heart-breaking than any other selection decision,” quoted Gautam Gambhir.

I feel sorry for him

Rayudu was potently certain to be in that flight to England after his performance in the Asia Cup and the home series against the Windies, but then depleted his chances due to the consistent failure in the recent series against Australia. Gambhir mentioned that he too got reduced in the same position as Rayudu in 2007.

“I feel sorry for him as I was in a similar position in 2007, when they (erstwhile selectors) didn’t pick me and I know how difficult it is not being picked for the World Cup. Ultimately for any young kid, it is a childhood dream to be a part of the big event. So, I feel more sorry for Rayudu more than any other cricketer, who hasn’t been picked,” the former cricketer added.

Vijay Shankar has replaced Ambati Rayudu in the national team for the mega event. "After the Champions Trophy (2017), we tried quite a few people in that position. We did give a few more chances to Rayudu. Vijay Shankar is three dimensional. We are looking at him at no. 4 to begin with. We also have Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav. It's not that anything that went against [Rayudu], it's that a few things went for [Shankar]," said MSK Prasad.