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)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: KL Rahul brings up sixth FC century with six; South Zone 148/1

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi: Mitchell Marsh gets half-century

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Run feast expected in first ODI in Cuttack

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul completes century

Australia reeling at 239/8 at tea on Day 3 of 2nd Test against Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Rameez Raja says he never expected Pakistan batsmen to dominate Australian bowlers

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Chris Gayle confident of West Indies touring South Africa despite dispute with WICB

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here