20 Sep 2020: India should have picked Rayudu for 2019 WC: Shane Watson
Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson believes Team India should have played Ambati Rayudu in the 2019 World Cup.
Watson also praised the latter for his positive intent while facing Jasprit Bumrah in crunch moments, which laid the foundation of CSK's victory.
Fact: Here is what Watson said
"Rayudu batted absolutely beautifully for his 71. He is an incredibly talented batsman and I think it was a loss for India's one-day team by not picking him in the 2019 World Cup squad," Watson said in a chat on his T20 Superstars podcast.
Rayudu: Rayudu powered CSK's run-chase along with Faf du Plessis
Rayudu walked out in the middle when CSK were reduced to 6/2 while chasing 163.
He then stitched a 115-run stand with Faf du Plessis, putting CSK in the driving seat.
The Yellow Army were struggling until Rayudu extracted 13 runs in the sixth over which was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah.
Eventually, he finished with a 48-ball 71 as CSK registered a five-wicket win.
Bumrah: Watson highlights how Rayudu took on Jasprit Bumrah
During the match, Rayudu was all over MI pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
His terrific six on the last ball of Bumrah's first over grabbed eyeballs.
"To be able to take down Jasprit Bumrah like he did was incredible. He's got scoring options all around the ground. And he's got a fair bit of point to prove as well against his old team Mumbai," added Watson.
Snub: Rayudu faced a snub even after performing well
Rayudu was included in India's core team following his magnificent run in the 2019 New Zealand ODI series.
He was the highest run-scorer of the bilateral series, having scored 190 runs from five innings at 63.33.
He was also backed by skipper Virat Kohli for the number four spot.
However, Rayudu faced a snub from the World Cup squad following a patchy Australian tour.
Retirement: He announced retirement from international cricket
For the World Cup, the MSK Prasad-led committee preferred all-rounder Vijay Shankar over Rayudu, owing to his "three-dimensional" attributes.
Meanwhile, Rayudu clearly expressed his disappointment over the decision, thereby announcing retirement midway through the 2019 World Cup.
However, the 34-year-old took a giant u-turn, stating that his decision to retire was an emotional one and he will be available for selection in future.
IPL: CSK have been backing Rayudu since 2018
At the 2018 auction, Chennai Super Kings bought Rayudu after Mumbai Indians released him from the squad.
MS Dhoni then backed him for the entire season, which brought out the best of him.
As a result, he finished as the fourth-highest run-scorer with 602 runs. The tally also included his maiden IPL hundred.
Ever since, Rayudu has been the nucleus of CSK's top order.