Home > Features >

Suresh Raina must capitalise on from to seal his spot in World Cup 2015 squad

In the World T20 2014, Suresh Raina showed that he has the ability to counter the short ball © AFP
In the World T20 2014, Suresh Raina showed that he has the ability to counter the short ball © AFP

After being dropped from the One-Day International squad, Suresh Raina had a good outing in the World T20 2014 with a match-winning cameo in the semi-final. With close to a decade of experience, R Vishal feels it’s time for Raina to make a strong impact.

The ICC World T20 2014 was redemption of sorts for Suresh Kumar Raina; the solution against rising ball and the tentative blocking off the toes seemed like an eternity away. The cross-batted flourish and the confident jab off his hips were in full cry.

Right from the warm-up games against England and Sri Lanka leading up to the tournament to treating Wayne Parnell with total disdain in a crucial juncture in the semi-final against South Africa, the flair that once had Greg Chappell mark him a future captain when he was Team India’s coach was back.

The subcontinent has been Raina’s den so far. At home, Raina has pulled off many a jaw-dropping knocks. Closing in on a decade of international cricket behind him, the attacking southpaw is still questioned by many quarters for not cementing his place and predictably, his short ball woes.

Even when his India form tapered, he roared in the Indian Premier League (IPL).  Chennai Super Kings’s (CSK) superlative run than the other teams has largely been down to Raina’s incredible consistency and butchering the half-trackers with utmost glee into the stands.

With the countdown ticking to the ICC World Cup 2015 in New Zealand and Australia, Raina has his task cut out and shed the infamous tag of being labeled a flat-track bully. For a player approaching 200 One-Day Internations (ODI), Raina’s modest record in New Zealand and Australia does evoke a cause for worry for India’s unresolved middle-order issues.

The country is still coming to terms with the disgraceful aftermath of Yuvraj Singh’s painstaking knock in the final, the battle line-up remains unsettled from Virat Kohli at No3 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni at No7. With a barrage of short-pitched stuff aimed at his ribcage expected in next year’s World Cup, The Uttar Pradesh batsmen’s scores doesn’t pass muster. In Australia, after eight games, Raina averages a paltry 26 with not a single half-century to his name. In New Zealand, however he has fared better after eight games with a healthy average of 41.80.

It should be noted that most of his runs in New Zealand came from tearing into the uninspiring home attack in 2009 and struggled to construct an innings of note against a rejuvenated Kiwi bowling attack. Of late, Raina himself has addressed his nagging troubles with the rising delivery and even credited former Indian Sourav Ganguly (who had similar worries during his playing days) for an improved technique.

Even during India’s historic World Cup win in 2011, the team succumbed to two consecutive middle-order collapses against England and South Africa after Sachin Tendulkar’s superlative efforts and can ill-afford to repeat that in far more unforgiving conditions.

With tours of England and Australia coming up, testing times await Raina. At this juncture, India and the enigmatic left-hander are co-dependent and this is a chance where the batsman should take on the role of a senior player in the team.

Ajinkya Rahane has already shown better adaptability, temperament and the technique in the middle order and the likes of Dinesh Karthik, and Cheteshwar Pujara are breathing down his neck. Time has come for Raina to shrug off the unwanted ‘Dhoni’s man’ tag and come into his own or as he has found out with his Test career, India has a conveyer belt of replacements.

(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 19, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock will boost New Zealand’s sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 BCCI India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Brendon McCullum happy with his team’s performance

IPL to face ‘disastrous consequences’ if Supreme Court takes action against India Cements

Dilip Vengsarkar receives Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award

India tour of Australia 2014: George Bailey backs Brad Haddin for captaincy; refuses to rule Michael Clarke out

India’s tour to Australia will help them ahead of ICC World Cup 2015: VVS Laxman

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Highest chases against New Zealand in Test matches

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan’s biggest fourth innings chases

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here