The biggest conundrum heading into the 2019 Cricket World Cup was the no.4 spot. India had tried several batsmen in that position before 2019, with no one able to stamp his authority. Only one player was given an extended run in the position and it was Ambati Rayudu. He was also scoring runs for his side and it looked like Ambati Rayudu was lock-in for the squad after being the preferred choice for Team India for the last one year.
But the MSK Prasad-led selection committee sprung up a surprise when they omitted Rayudu from the squad and picked Vijay Shankar instead. It led to a lot of controversy with many feeling that Rayudu was wronged in the situation.
Suresh Raina, who recently retired from international cricket, also reckons that Rayudu was the best choice for India at the number four slot and even believes the Men in Blue would have won the World Cup if he was in the squad.
“I wanted Rayudu to be India’s number four because he was working very hard, playing [for] almost one and a 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 by Cricbuzz.
“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.
Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant, who were selected to play in the middle-order, could not do much in the tournament as the same position turned out to be the weak spot for India at the World Cup.