Suresh Raina © AFP
Suresh Raina © AFP

Not very long ago, Suresh Raina was reckoned as the best T20 Indian batsman for his manic approach right from the outset. But Virat Kohli soon overhauled every challenge and emerged as the world’s best T20 batsman. Over the years, Raina has been instrumental behind India’s success and has garnered runs on a consistent basis in the shortest format of the game. But the same flamboyant southpaw looks bereft of oomph when there is hint of susceptible movement or the moment a bowler starts firing it short. Suraj Choudhari feels Raina’s bare runs column is matter of huge concern for team India and also for the batsman himself. FULL SCORECARD: India vs West Indies, 2nd Semi-Final match at Mumbai

Raina’s alluring cricketing career has witnessed a massive downfall in the recent times. Reason is simple, his flawed technique and awareness on the pitch. Earlier, his success against the white ball was significant but his failure to soak in the pressure and inability to hold on the nerves in crunch situations has taken a heavy toll of him. In fact, his languishing form is also one of the major reasons behind his demotion from Grade A list of contracted players to Grade B.

Raina has been vulnerable to anything that is pitched short irrespective of the format. His technique against the moving deliveries is again bustling. He struggles against swinging deliveries and off spin which is a scoring opportunity for most of the Indian talent. His dismal run in the recent times is a testament to the above fact.

In the recent times, Raina never look confident at the crease and plus the onus of reserving a regular spot in the side adds on to the pressure. There is no unassailable technique required to score runs against the white ball unlike Test cricket. All that Raina needs to do is develop a technique that could work out for him. If he continues in the manner he has been at the moment, his axing from the side is just a matter of time.

Raina was not picked for the One-Day International (ODI) squad against Australia Down Under which was a repercussion of his inconsistency in the 50 overs format. If his tally of runs doesn’t improve in the shortest format of the game a similar result can be expected at this level.

Raina in last 10 T20I games in the current calendar year has just managed to garner 80 runs at a dismal average of 11.42. In fact, his highest score was just a mere 30 runs. These numbers do corroborate the belief that his dismal form has affected India massively. He is a superstar in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and carries a huge reputation behind his name.  He is a vteran in the side and expected to do much more than what he is doing at the moment.

Raina has been in the international circuit for a long time now but has failed to tackle short pitched deliveries. This has been one of the main reasons behind his languishing form. He lacks confidence the moment a delivery is pitched short and tends to take his eyes away from the ball. His footwork against the turning deliveries too hasn’t been impressive. He tends to transfer his weight on the back foot while confronting the pace bowlers.

At present, Virat Kohli has solely led the batting attack and scored runs aplenty. Raina have been a massive contributor to the runs column and his lack of form is affecting India particularly. He bats in the middle order and the onus of scoring runs on a consistent basis relies heavily on his shoulders. If he doesn’t resurrects his technique and rediscovers his mojo at the right time, that time is not far away where Raina will be history.

(Suraj Choudhari is a reporter with Criclife and CricketCountry. He is an avid follower of the game, and plays the sport at club level. He has a radical understanding about the subtle nuances and intricacies of cricket, and tries to express it through paper and pen)