Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant might have missed the bus for the World Cup, but the two could yet be a part of the action in England and Wales after being named as standbys – along with uncapped paceman Navdeep Saini- by the selectors.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the selectors had proposed having the three of them as the back-ups in case there is an injury in the 15-man squad that was announced on Monday. There is no order in which they will be picked – if the situation crops up at all – and the selectors will make their choice depending on the requirements of the team.
Of the three standbys, only Saini will travel to England with the main squad as he is also part of the quartet of net bowlers that has been approved. Along with Saini, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan would be part of the Indian entourage.
The development comes as a bit of solace for Rayudu, especially, and Pant, who were serious contenders in the lead-up to the selection meeting. MSK Prasad, the chairman of India’s selection committee, clarified afterwards that Rayudu had lost his spot to Tamil Nadu batting allrounder Vijay Shankar because the latter brought “three dimensions” to the table; he is an excellent fielder along with being a dependable batsman and medium pacer.
Although Pant has not reacted in any form, Rayudu posted a message on his Twitter feed on Tuesday, saying he had ordered 3D glasses to watch the World Cup. It is understood that both the BCCI and the selectors have noted Rayudu’s reaction, but have described as emotional.