Mumbai: Former India opener Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday blasted the MSK Prasad-led senior selection panel after middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu decided to retire from all forms of cricket.
Ignored for the ongoing Cricket World Cup, Rayudu announced his retirement from all forms of the game without specifying any reasons in his email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"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," Star Sports expert Gambhir said on Cricket Live.
Gambhir, who played 58 Tests and 147 ODIs, minced no words in targeting the selectors. "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," said Gambhir.
He termed Rayudu's decision to retire as a sad moment for Indian cricket. "A cricketer like him who 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 added.
Rayudu played 55 ODIs for India, scoring 1694 runs at an average of 47.05. The player, who could never break into the Test team, was in the spotlight before the World Cup. Declared the preferred number four 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.
At that time, chief selector MSK Prasad had said that the Tamil Nadu all-rounder Shankar brings three dimensions to the game- as a middle-order batsman who can bowl at a medium pace and is also a handy fielder — and that was the reason he got the nod ahead of Rayudu.
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 Prasad's defence of Vijay Shankar's selection.