Former BCCI selector Gagan Khoda recently opened up about India's campaign in the 2019 World Cup, as well as the non-selection of Ambati Rayudu for the tournament.
In an exclusive interview with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Cricket's Facebook page, the former Indian opener opined that the Hyderabad batsman wasn't at his best ahead of the marquee tournament.
When asked about India's hunt for a No. 4 batsman in the lead-up to the World Cup, Khoda said -
"Ambati Rayudu was experienced and you were looking at the World Cup. We carried on with him for a year but we felt he was getting stagnant."
"The confidence level going into the World Cup wasn't there. We couldn't get any youngster in because the tournament was in England also."
"I never thought we were weak anywhere. It was just one bad day that we had. One day the match didn't happen, the next day it happens and the momentum finishes. You have to start all over again, and it happens."
Ambati Rayudu and the 2019 World Cup saga
Expected to fill the hole at No. 4 in the Indian batting line-up, Ambati Rayudu was dropped for the 2019 World Cup for all-rounder Vijay Shankar.
The selection panel claimed that the Tamil Nadu man was a 'three-dimensional' cricketer. Even when Shankar was ruled out of the tournament midway due to injury, Rishabh Pant was called up instead of Ambati Rayudu.
India lost to New Zealand in the semi-final of the World Cup, while Ambati Rayudu retired from all forms of international cricket after lashing out at the selectors for their decision. The Chennai Super Kings man has since reversed his decision.
Although India seem to have found a capable No. 4 batsman in Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer, Ambati Rayudu will be keen on performing well in the IPL to earn a recall to the Men in Blue.