Mumbai: Following the announcement of the team for the West Indies tour, MSK Prasad also clarified why Ambati Rayudu was not selected following the departures of injured Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar during the 2019 World Cup.
"There were certain programmes to see Rayudu comes into the setup. We (selection committee) don't have anything against a particular player. "When Rayadu was picked for the ODIs on the basis of his T20 performance, there was criticism, but we had some thoughts about him.
When he failed the fitness test, we put him on a fitness programme. Due to certain combinations, he wasn't picked, it doesn't make the selection committee biased", said MSK Prasad.
After hearing Prasad’s explanation, a senior BCCI official put forward a question, asking him why a player is selected only on the basis of the fitness test eligibility and why eligibility is the sole reason to select a player.
"Who decided on the fitness criteria and has there been an official communication on the same? If there was no criteria officially communicated or discussed or approved by the board, how could one fail it?
Seems that the selector didn't really check all the dimensions before making this statement," the official questioned.
MSK Prasad in response said that Vijay Shankar was selected because he was a “three-dimensional” player who could bowl, bat, field, thus he was providing a “three-dimension” to the game.
"We did give a few more chances to Rayudu but Vijay Shankar gives three dimensions. He can bat if the conditions are overcast, he can bowl, plus he is a good fielder. We are looking at Shankar as the No. 4," Prasad replied.
After the World Cup humiliation, Rayudu had sent a sarcastic tweet, "Just ordered a new set of 3D glasses to watch the World Cup."
During the announcement of the team, the prime selector once again attempted to justify the actions of his team, but the BCCI official didn’t seem to be convinced enough with his justifications.