Ambati Rayudu's retirement from all forms of international cricket came as a shocker to most cricket fans, as the potential number 4 batsman was snubbed on more than one occasion, to be selected to the national side. As a former captain of the U-19 national side, Rayudu led the team to the semi-finals in 2004 following which he has had many ups and downs in his career. In 2018, Rayudu had announced his retirement from domestic cricket.
Rayudu has played 55 ODIs for India, scoring 1694 runs at an average of 47.05 with three hundreds and ten half-centuries. He also featured in six T20 internationals and made 42 runs in them.
The 33-year old batsman had a wonderful run during the 2018 Indian Premier League, following which he earned a call-up to the national side. Deemed by skipper Kohli as the ideal batsman to play for India at number 4, fans expected Rayudu to feature in the World Cup squad for India in 2019. However, a slight slump in Rayudu's fitness and form in the 2019 IPL led to his exclusion from the World Squad that was announced at the end of May. Vijay Shankar had been included in the squad ahead of Rayudu as he possessed 'three-dimensional abilities' as per chief selector MSK Prasad, the first sign of snubbing the batsman received at the beginning of the World Cup.
It was after this that Rayudu had posted his tweet expressing petulance at not being selected:
While many thought that an injury to any member of the squad at the World Cup would mean Rayudu will be brought in were all proved wrong. Initially, when Shikhar Dhawan was injured and was ruled out of the tournament, young Rishab Pant was flown in as his replacement. When Vijay Shankar was ruled out, fans thought that the obvious choice of the selectors would be Rayudu. However, bringing in uncapped Mayank Agarwal as a replacement for the injured Vijay Shankar was the final nail in the coffin for Rayudu.
Rayudu has said that he will continue playing in the Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings, the only place left for him to play professional cricket. The middle-order batsman has performed consistently for the IPL side while going on to score 3300 runs at an average of 28.7. Although Rayudu's form dipped in the latest edition of the IPL, he was a constant face in the IPL and was known for his role as a middle-order batsman who could stabilize the innings and rotate the strike.