With a batting average of 47.05 in ODI’s in 55 matches one would safely assume that he has done a decent enough job as a middle order batsman. But in Ambati Rayudu’s case the statistics alone don’t reflect his career as a professional cricketer. He has been through the ebb and flow since making his debut in Harare in 2013. He has been on the cusp of cementing his place in the ODI set up for Team India but just when things looked good for him what followed was worse than what he would have imagined.
After a good New Zealand tour early in 2019 he seemed to have earn the much needed confidence of the team management with his good performances. Indian skipper Virat Kohli categorically mentioned in the press conference during the New Zealand tour that Rayudu was the man for the No.4 slot going into the World Cup. It all changed however after his inconsistent performances during the series against Australia at home. Again the talks of him being dropped for the World Cup started doing rounds and he wilted under pressure with some horrid performances during the IPL. It is interesting to note that the team management made it very clear prior to the start of IPL that performances for their respective franchises won’t really matter for selection of the Indian Cricket team for the World Cup. But in his case it did seem to matter as he was snubbed by not being named in the initial 15 man squad. Vijay Shankar was picked ahead of him as the selectors believed him to be a three dimensional player. Following this Rayudu tweeted a witty comment that he has ordered a pair of 3D glasses to watch the World Cup. With this humorous take it was believed that he took it in his stride and decided to move on. He was then named in the stand-bys along with Rishabh Pant. Pant was called to join the team following the injury to Shikhar Dhawan. As Vijay Shankar was ruled out following a toe injury Mayank Aggarwal was roped in. This seems to be too much for Rayudu to take in his stride as Aggarwal hasn’t even made an ODI debut and wasn’t in the stand-bys as well. Following this decision he made up his mind and decided to hang his boots as he announced his retirement from all forms of Cricket on Wednesday, July 3rd 2019. This looks like an emotional decision taken hastily but a lot has happened for him to announce his retirement like this. The Cricketing fraternity has been tweeting in his support ever since for they realize that the talent he has been.
For anyone who has followed Indian Cricket for sometime would know that this issue would be trivial if the Indian Cricket Team goes onto win the World Cup. However, if that doesn’t happen then this issue will be highlighted in the media yet again. Irrespective of what transpires Ambati Rayudu will have to live with this sense of insignificance that no worthy Cricketer deserves.