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Raina: India would have won the 2019 World Cup if Rayudu was part of the squad

by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

Suresh Raina, who recently announced his retirement from international cricket, following in the footsteps of MS Dhoni, believes that India would have won the 2019 World Cup, had batsman Ambati Rayudu been part of the squad.

Raina, who is currently Rayudu’s teammate at Chennai Super Kings, was in conversation with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz when he had his say on India’s No.4 conundrum, which was a point of debate in the team’s selection ahead of the World Cup in England last year.

Rayudu was initially considered to be one of the first choices for the spot, but was eventually sidelined from the squad, dramatically announcing his retirement from international cricket after the snub.

Raina, who had also replaced Rayudu in the India ODI squad on their tour to England in 2018 after Rayudu failed the mandatory yo-yo fitness test, praised his CSK teammate’s effort in the lead up to the tournament, claiming that India would have won the World Cup had the management persisted with Rayudu.

“I wanted Rayudu to be India’s number four because he was working very hard, he played almost one and half years,” Raina said. “He performed really well and he wasn’t there.

“I was very, very sad when I got to go to England in 2018. I didn’t enjoy the tour because of the circumstances where Rayudu failed his fitness test and I was then included in the squad. It didn’t feel good that I was picked as he failed.

“He was good at number four. If he was part of the squad for the World Cup, we would have won the tournament. Rayudu was the best choice and it’s the way he plays the game for Chennai Super Kings as well. He was batting really well in the camp in Chennai.”

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