3 things that made MSK Prasad's tenure as India's chief selector highly controversial
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Sunday confirmed that the tenure of the selection panel led by MSK Prasad has ended. "Tenures are finished. They have done a good job,” Ganguly said after attending BCCI's 88th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Prasad was appointed chairman of the selection committee in 2015. He was soon joined by Gagan Khoda, while Jatin Paranjpe, Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi were added to the panel in 2016. While all of them had played for India, they possessed very little international experience, which was questioned at various points during their tenure.
During the term of Prasad and Co as selectors, India reached the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017, semi-final of the World Cup in 2019, and also rose to No. 1 in the Test rankings. However, Indian legends like Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh have often questioned the capability of the selectors.
With Prasad’s tenure ending, we look back at three things that made his time as BCCI chief selector a rather controversial one.
#1 Dropping Rayudu in favour of 'three-dimensional' Shankar
The biggest surprise in India’s squad for the 2019 World Cup was the selection of all-rounder Vijay Shankar instead of Hyderabad batsman Ambati Rayudu.
“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 fielder. We are looking at Vijay Shankar as a No. 4,” chief selector Prasad said while explaining Shankar’s selection ahead of Rayudu.
Rayudu responded to this by tweeting, “Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup.”
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While Rayudu did not have a great run in the build-up to the World Cup, he was the highest run-getter for India in the ODIs on the tour of New Zealand with 190 runs in five innings at an average of 63.33. Skipper Virat Kohli had even openly proclaimed that Rayudu’s was India’s choice for number four at the World Cup.
The last-minute snub definitely stung Rayudu. And Prasad drew more flak after Shankar flopped in the World Cup -- three matches, 58 runs and two wickets -- before being ruled out with an injury.