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‘Remeber Ambati Rayudu?’ BCCI Slammed For Hardik Pandya’s World Cup Spot Despite No Form

MensXP logo MensXP 26-09-2021 Aditya Pandey
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The debate of whether or not Hardik Pandya deserves to be in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 has gone into a throwback mode with fans reliving the injustice suffered by Ambati Rayudu during the team selection for World Cup 2019.

Rayudu was seen as a legitimate middle-order batsman and perceived to be someone who would finally fill up the dreaded number four spot in the team. For at least a year ahead of the tournament, he was speculated to be a valuable part of the Men in Blue. 

However, when the time came for the BCCI selectors to announce the 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup in England, the Guntur-born cricketer’s name was nowhere to be found. Instead, the spot went to “3-D player” Vijay Shankar, who made little to no impact on the tournament for India and the infamous number-four spot became the bane of success for Virat Kohli’s side back then.

“... We felt he (Rayudu) was getting stagnant. The confidence level going into the World Cup wasn’t there,” Gagan Khoda, a member of the 2019 selection committee had said in a 2020 interview with Sportskeeda.

Assuming the same situation remains true while making the decision for the T20 World Cup next month, fans have questioned the Indian cricket board behind picking someone like Hardik Pandya, who has not only been out of form but has also been vulnerable to constant injuries over the last two years. 

This has taken away his ability to bowl frequently, prevented him from playing big innings, and not even show up in the first two matches for the Mumbai Indians in the second leg of the Indian Premier League 2021.

And these aren’t some baseless arguments that some random fans have been putting out there on the internet. Former Indian wicket-keeper batter, Saba Karim also expressed his worries about Pandya’s selection, especially if he was still unfit while the process was taking place.

“He (Hardik) is a big player. But the question now is when he was selected for the Indian team, was he fully fit or not? If he was fit then it is justified. But if not, then when did this niggle happen? If he was carrying that injury then why was he selected? The general rule is - you have to prove your fitness and go to NCA and come back. This rule applies to everyone. So, the question is right but we don't know what has exactly happened with Pandya,” said Karim.

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