Bengaluru, April 17: Luck plays a big role in the life of a cricketer and Ambati Rayudu found Lady Luck not backing him when it came to making the Indian squad for the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in England.
The middle-order batsman, who was backed as India's probable No.4 for the big event over the past several months, eventually fell short of the selectors' favour, mainly because of his less than impressive performance in ODIs in 2019.
He scored only one fifty in 10 matches this year and missed the bus even after averaging more than 47 in the same format.
The failure certainly dashed the Hyderabad batsman's all hopes of representing India in the World Cup.
At 33, Rayudu is unlikely to survive another four years at the top level. In fact, commentator Harsha Bhogle did not hesitate to foresee an end to Rayudu's career in the ODIs after this snub.
Vijay Shankar pipped Ambati Rayudu to make it to India's squad for the Cricket World Cup, 2019. Watch @bhogleharsha analyse Rayudu's journey and how he might be nearing the end of the road in ODIs #CWC19 #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/SPzyzgFlHC— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) April 15, 2019
Bhogle also cited the curious case of the batsman's career path whereby he had an intense build-up to the World Cups in 2015 and 2019 but did not play for his country on the highest stage. In 2015, Rayudu played in every game for India in the run-up to the World Cup and was also picked for the squad but did not get a game in the tournament. In 2019, he fell even a step shorter.
But what was indeed disappointing with Rayudu is the way he reacted after his omission. Taking an indirect jibe at chief selectors MSK Prasad's take that Vijay Shankar was preferred over Rayudu because of his "three dimensions" utility, Rayudu tweeted saying he has ordered a set of 3d glasses to watch the World Cup.
Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup 😉😋..— Ambati Rayudu (@RayuduAmbati) April 16, 2019
This reaction from Rayudu was replete with disappointment, but it was unbecoming of a professional cricketer. But having said that, the former India Under-19 captain is known for his short temperament and has found himself involved in arguments and brawls, both on and off the ground.
Rayudu has been found yelling at his own team-mate while fielding in the Indian Premier League; abusing umpire for giving him out and even getting involved in a fight with an elderly man on the streets over rash driving.
Rayudu had made his first-class debut at the age of 16 and was considered as a future India prospect then itself. But he could make his international debut only at the age of 27.
Sixteen years earlier, another Hyderabad batsman VVS Laxman had also missed out from playing the World Cup. And unlike Rayudu, the former stylish batsman was at the peak of his form around that time when he was overlooked in favour of the unheralded Dinesh Mongia.
Laxman, who never got to play in a World Cup, later spoke about his frustration and that he had contemplated quitting the game but did not blame anybody for the outcome. Laxman, in fact, made a terrific comeback in the limited-overs format.
Perhaps, Rayudu could have taken a leaf out of Laxman's book.