Ambati Rayudu was not included in India's World Cup squad and when Mayank Agarwal was drafted into the squad as a replacement for Vijay Shankar, Rayudu announced his retirement from the game. Speaking about the same, MSK Prasad, chief of the selection committee, said the request from the management was for an opening batsman, owing to which Rayudu was overlooked.
However, former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin does not agree with the clarification made and said that if a player has been identified as a standby, he should get the nod.
"When a person is standing by, I feel the standby person should be picked, if any replacement is needed.
'Selector can overrule the captain and coach'
"If you are a selector, you can overrule captain and coach. You can put your foot down and say, 'no, we will send this player'. When I was captain, I also wanted some players but the selectors said no. It happens. You are not selected, it is very sad. It happened like that. But, his (Prasad's) explanation, I don't agree with it," he said.
Rayudu was first ignored when Shikhar Dhawan was injured and Rishabh Pant was flown in. He was again given the snub when all-rounder Vijay Shankar got hurt and Mayank Agarwal was sent as a replacement.
However, after announcing the squads, MSK Prasad said that there was no bias against a particular player and different parameters come into the fore when a player was selected.
"When Rayudu 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," Prasad said.
However, soon after this statement by MSK Prasad, a senior BCCI official questioned the comment and even spoke about the criteria of fitness which has been the yardstick when it comes to selection for the Indian team.
"Who decided on the fitness criteria and has there been an official communication on the same? If there were 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 was as quoted by IANS.