Home > Features >

Suresh Raina as captain: Statistical review

Suresh Raina will look to show his worth as captain against Bangladesh © Getty Images
Suresh Raina will look to show his worth as captain against Bangladesh © Getty Images

 While Suresh Raina has been one of India’s most successful limited overs batsman in the last decade, he has had limited success when it comes to captaining the Indian setup. Shiamak Unwalla attempts to unravel the captain within Raina.

Suresh Raina is the type of player most captains dream about having in their side. With a bat in hand, he is as destructive as anyone, while also providing a stable influence. His lightening quick reflexes in the field makes it very difficult for the batsman to find gaps. And he bowls more than handy part-time off spin.

While batting, he exudes calmness even amid aggression that suggests a mature head on his shoulders and a fine temperament. He is capable of not only scoring quickly, but also with regard to accumulating runs depending on the situation. That he has scored over 4,500 runs in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) from close to 190 matches is testament to his skill.

So when a number of seniors — among them MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir — opted out of a tri-series in Zimbabwe also featuring Sri Lanka, it seemed a natural progression for Raina to be appointed the captain of the national side.

However, that was a series Raina would like to forget, as India could manage just a solitary win in four matches. India lost twice to hosts Zimbabwe and once to Sri Lanka. It was a young side, without many of the then senior players, but it also featured a number of young players  such as Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma, who all would go on to become vital members of the national side within the next couple of years.

In 2011, Raina got another shot at captaincy soon after the ICC World Cup 2011. It was India’s first full series since becoming world champions, but it featured very few of the players, who actually were part of the World Cup squad. Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni, openers; Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, and batting lynchpin, Gautam Gambhir, were all rested for the ODIs.

Raina did moderately better in his second outing as captain with India winning the series against the West Indies 3-2. But it was still not a performance that India were hoping for. Raina’s captaincy record after nine matches was less than flattering.

India’s results under Raina:

Year

Played

Won

Lost

2010

4

1

3

2011

5

3

2

Total

9

4

5

While Raina obviously did not have the services of his senior players, the fact that he could not lead from the front with the bat was a worrying factor. Only two other batsmen apart from Raina himself —Kohli and Rohit— featured in all nine games he captained, and both men outscored him.

Performance of batsmen under Raina:

Batsman

M

R

50s

100s

Ave

Rohit Sharma

9

517

3

2

103.4

Virat Kohli

9

367

4

0

40.78

Suresh Raina

9

165

0

0

23.57

As seen above, Raina the batsman clearly suffers, while he is captaining the setup. Oddly, the man with the least impressive record overall, Rohit, has done the best under Raina’s leadership. Kohli was decent, but was yet to establish himself in the way he did towards the latter part of 2011.

Another rather strange aspect of Raina’s captaincy is a reluctance to bat up the order. Some might argue that Dhoni — quite conceivably the greatest ODI finisher of all time — rarely bats higher than No 6, but the fact is that Dhoni calculates a chase unlike any other batsman of his generation. Perhaps Raina was trying to emulate him by leaving himself for the end, but it clearly was not a successful tactic.

 Raina’s batting at every position as captain:

Batting position

I

R

HS

Ave

4

1

26

26*

-

5

3

64

37

32

6

5

75

43

15

As seen above, the only time Raina batted in the middle-order, he made an unbeaten 24, while his average at No 6 — usually his preferred spot in ODIs, yielded least successful returns for him. He averages a decent 32, while batting at No 5, but with a highest score of just 37, the responsibility of playing a big knock inevitably fell on someone else.

Suresh Raina is undeniably one of the most talented batsman of the Indian limited-overs team. He brings a lot to the table, and has the potential to turn a game on its head. However, if his past record as captain is anything to go by, it seems that he is happier playing under someone else rather than being the captain himself.

Having said that he has always been backed to the hilt by Dhoni, and it proves that there must be something in him that has not yet been seen. He is travelling to Bangladesh with an inexperienced yet, largely impressive team. If Raina can lead from the front and win the series comprehensively, it could go a long way in establishing him as a potential future leader of the side.

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 198 runs

Photos

Don Bradman's ducks

Videos

Mitchell Marsh: This is a big opportunity for me

India vs England Live Cricket Score 2nd ODI at Cardiff: India win by 113 runs by D/L method

Australia vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014 Match 2 at Harare: South Africa win by 7 wickets

Don Bradman and his ducks

India vs England ODI series 2014: Why an Indian win will be surprising

MS Dhoni taking on England in England and BCCI at home!

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

CLT20 2014: Online selling of tickets begin

Adam Gilchrist ‘apologises’ to Glenn McGrath on Twitter

PCB to discuss ways to help bowlers with suspect action

Michael Hussey calls for stringent measures to prevent illegal bowling actions

Alastair Cook urges England to improve after 133-run defeat against India in 2nd ODI

Ice Bucket Challenge inspires Shane Warne, Andrew Symonds and Salman Butt to come up with innovative ideas!

West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I at Basseterre Preview: Hosts will look to maintain clean slate

10 little known facts about Lasith Malinga

AB de Villiers’ ton for South Africa against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular series 2014 another testament to his place as a modern great

Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014: Australia vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Harare Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

664 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny cricket video

Yemeni troops kill three Al Qaeda gunmen

Akhilesh Yadav gives green signal to build 100-room UP Bhawan in Noida

What is a yeast infection?

How to have sex after having a baby

Emraan Hashmi: Alia Bhatt shouldn’t be called the serial kisser!

NASA developing robot troops to explore alien worlds

Government launches .bharat domain name

Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif’s Tu Meri, Salman Khan’s Yaar Na Miley are a hit this week!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here