Contributed by Shashank Elapavuluri
With news coming around about Rayudu’s retirement from all forms of cricket
at such a relatively early age of 33, it is apparent that it is only because he was
snubbed by the Indian team management, which preferred Mayank Agarwal as
replacement for an injured Vijay Shankar in the World Cup squad (Despite
Rayudu being named in the list of reserve players).
Is it that his ‘3D Glasses’ tweet made the selectors to give him a cold shoulder?
Following Rayudu for all these years, would like to plot down some similarities
of Rayudu with the recent Blockbuster Arjun Reddy/ Kabir Singh.
1. Temper prevails over Professional capabilities:
In about 100 First class matches, Rayudu made ~ 6,000 runs – 16 centuries –
34 half-centuries – decent average of ~ 45 – Highest score of 210. However,
a ‘0’ in anger management.
2. Rey Amit Episode:
Due to differences with the then Hyderabad coach, Rayudu switched to Andhra for the 2005–06 season. During Hyderabad-Andhra Ranji trophy match in 2006, Arjun Yadav (son of former Indian cricketer Shivlal Yadav) started abusing Rayudu for jumping teams (Andhra to Hyderabad) for which Rayudu lost cool and showed his bat, while Arjun picked up stumps to attack. Shivlal Yadav who was influential in HCA defended his son, while showcasing Rayudu as indiscipline and rude – A remark which Rayudu couldn’t wipe off even after two decades.
3. Arjun decides to leave college instead of giving an apology:
Rayudu was one of the first players to join the Indian Cricket League when it came calling in 2007. He was awed by the opportunity to play alongside foreign players and make a name in front of the television audiences. This however caused a clash with the BCCI and his career was hindered due to that.
Subsequently in 2009, his career received a fresh lease of life when he
accepted the BCCI’s amnesty offer and starred in the IPL.
4. That phone conversation of Arjun:
In September 2017, a video surfaced on social media showing Rayudu driving his Land Rover getting into a heated argument and manhandling a senior citizen pedestrian. If you haven’t watched that car fight video of Rayudu which was viral back then, do watch it to conclude who was better – Rayudu/ Vijay/ Shahid.
5. Arjun’s respect to his career and profession – Admits his mistake in Court and accepts the suspension of his practice:
Every effort of Rayudu during the last 2 decades was to represent the Indian cricket Team. Rayudu did get a few opportunities in national colours although it has mostly been when the big boys have been rested. Nevertheless, he did grab his chances most of the times. However, for the ongoing world cup campaign, despite being named as Reserve players alongside Rishabh Pant who was earlier called up post Dhawan’s injury, Mayank Agarwal who has never played an ODI before was picked up as a replacement to injured Vijay Shankar. Though it appears to be an end to his
international career, Rayudu would have maintained calm and continue playing the cash rich IPL. However, he has chosen to put a full stop to cricket when there is no possibility of him representing the National Team anymore. That calls up a career of a hungry-young man for whom country and profession matter the most.
We all love Arjun Reddy. So, we do love Rayudu, the Arjun Reddy of Indian Cricket who is still hungry to make runs yet calls off his career abruptly. Let’s hope, some seniors like Sachin/ Laxman step in and make Rayudu take back his retirement decision and convince him to continue playing domestic leagues at least.
Do you think Rayudu was a better choice for the replacement?
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