MSK Prasad reveals why Mayank was picked ahead of Rayudu in WC
In the mid-way through the recently-concluded 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, the Indian selection committee panel chaired by MSK Prasad, much to everyone’s surprise, named the uncapped ODI player Mayank Agarwal as a replacement of injured all-rounder Vijay Shankar.
It was indeed shocking that the selectors didn’t pick the experienced ODI cricketer Ambati Rayudu. On Sunday (21st July) in Mumbai, while addressing the reporters at the press conference, India’s chairman of selectors MSK Prasad revealed the exact reason for picking Mayank Agarwal ahead of Ambati Rayudu.
During the course of the marquee event, Vijay Shankar sustained a toe injury which forced him to miss out this tournament mid-way through the tournament. As Vijay left the void, everyone expected that selectors would prefer Rayudu to fill the space as he is deemed as the best replacement of the Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar.
Even before the quadrennial event started, chief selector MSK Prasad claimed that Vijay Shankar would play the No.4 batting position role in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. As Ambati Rayudu regularly played in the no.4 batting slot earlier, he surely would be the ideal choice. In addition to that, Rayudu was in the World Cup standby squad too.
Nonetheless, the selectors stunned the Indian cricket fraternity by going for inexperienced Mayank Agarwal for the rest of the 2019 CWC tournament. What really was shocking was that Agarwal was not even in the World Cup standby squad.
MSK Prasad had also opened up the main reason for that unexpected replacement.
Apart from Vijay Shankar who got injured, the opening batsman KL Rahul was also fighting an injury. While the regular limited-overs opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan had already been ruled out of World Cup, India were facing severe opening batting crisis and this is the reason why the selectors opted Agarwal as the backup opener. Nevertheless, Agarwal didn’t play even a match in that tournament.
MSK Prasad conceded, “When Shankar was injured, Rahul got injured attempting a catch. That time, we needed a backup opener. We looked at options & picked Agarwal.”
The selectors gave one more good news to Mayank Agarwal as he was picked for the Test series in the upcoming West Indies tour.
Mayank Agarwal is not in the limited-overs squads for the upcoming West Indies and the USA tour. In good news for Indian fans, prominent opener Shikhar Dhawan has returned in the limited-overs squads for the Caribbean tour.