Home > Features >

Suresh Raina’s appalling record against the short-ball a major worry before ICC World Cup 2015

Suresh Raina's failings against short-pitched bowling has been well documented for years now, but there seems to be little improvement in the way he plays it © Getty Images
Suresh Raina’s failings against short-pitched bowling has been well documented for years now, but there seems to be little improvement in the way he plays it © Getty Images

Suresh Raina was bounced out, yet again, during the first ODI between India and New Zealand at Napier. It is a flaw that continues to be a cause for concern for the Indian team management. Nishad Pai Vaidya says that Raina has to find a solution to the problem, else he will risk his spot for the ICC World Cup 2015.

It is a well established notion that Suresh Raina doesn’t fancy chin music. In the first One-Day International (ODI) between India and New Zealand at Napier, the new pace sensation, Adam Milne snared him with a half-tracker as the southpaw failed to keep it down and spooned a catch to fine-leg. It was yet another occasion where Raina was set up by the short ball by the opposition; although he may not have fallen to such deliveries too many times in the past, a constant barrage has often led to his dismissal. This glaring flaw in Raina’s game continues to be a headache for the team management as they plan for the ICC World Cup 2015.

It is almost as if every bowler, irrespective of pace, tries to unsettle Raina using the short deliveries. In the first ODI, Corey Anderson, a medium-pacer who touches 130 kmph at best, bowled short to get him to pull. Although Raina did control most of them very well, it did play on his mind. He was ready to play the shot even before the ball was delivered; or so it seemed. On one occasion, Anderson bowled it on a good length and outside the off-stump line; Raina was still ready to smash it with the horizontal bat through the leg-side. Once the quicker Milne came in, it was doom!

So, what does the team management do? Raina has been a proven performer in the shorter formats — a finisher in the middle-order who builds on the platform provided by the top-order. However, the next World Cup would be played Down Under; where surfaces have more bounce and Raina may find it tough to score freely. In modern cricket, no technical flaw is hidden and Raina’s predicament is the talk of the town amongst bowlers for years. India can ill-afford a spot in the middle-order taken by a batsman who struggles to the rising delivery, especially when you are playing a major tournament on surfaces that aid bounce.

Go back to the 2012-13 season. Raina was in good form and finished numerous ODIs for India. It did show what he was capable of in pressure situations and more so reflected on his temperament.

Raina’s record from February 2012 to January 2013:











But, one look at the games India played then would tell you that all were in the sub-continent, barring one. It isn’t often that he has struggled abroad though in ODIs. During the 2011 tour to England, Raina had a torrid time during the Test series, but hit back in the ODIs. He was ready to attack the short ball and played it with more conviction. One hasn’t seen that too often from him as he tends to be tentative with the half-trackers. Even when he is pulling, he plays a half-shot, devoid of control. Even if they go in the air, you aren’t going to get too many boundaries in the huge grounds in Australia.

But, Raina’s recent struggle has been prolonged. He didn’t get too many games during the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 and one can say that it was because the Indian top-order was in great form and he wasn’t really needed. On subsequent tours to the Caribbean and Zimbabwe, he failed and could only record one fifty. Plus, when the Australians arrived later in the year, he didn’t get too many runs despite the team management backing him for the No 4 spot.

Here is his record since the Champions Trophy:















There is no doubt about Raina’s talent though. On his day, he can smash it around and is a genuine match-winner; a crafty performer who can milt runs in the slog overs. However, Raina has to sort his problems out before the World Cup as India are only a year away from the tournament. Since he has been a fixture in the side for a few years, his struggle does become worrying and if he can find a solution, India would be well-served. Time may be running out for Raina.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

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


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


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

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

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

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

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

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

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

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

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