World T20: Best opportunity for Raina to justify his selection in the team: With scores of 13, 1, 25, DNB, DNB in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2016, 1* and 41* in the practice games prior to World T20 and 1, 0 in the two games of World T20, the southpaw, Suresh Raina has definitely not lived upto his reputation of being the best Indian T20 player ever.
Raina, who fell out of favour of the BCCI selectors, post his dismal show against South Africa in the home series late last year, was dropped from the ODI squad to Australia for the five-match series Down Under, which eventually India lost 1-4.
However, being a part of the T20 squad, he established his supremacy in the limited over format by being a catalyst for India to complete a ‘white wash’ of the Aussies in their own backyard by winning the series 3-0. This he did in style by hitting a boundary off the last delivery of the third and final encounter, when India needed just 2 runs for victory.
Speaking about his lacklustre show against the Proteas and his subsequent axing from the ODI squad, the stylish southpaw, speaking to Times News Network said, “Those were the down days of my life and it was a very tough phase.”
Explaining about his overcoming the negativity and the fight-back, he said “It was my wife who gave me unconditional love and support. She told me ‘keep playing and give your best and everything else will fall in place.’ I went to meet her in Holland, and she had organised special yoga classes and training sessions for me. Her caring attitude and love gave me the extra energy to go out and prove myself all over again. Frankly, for me, the alphabet ‘P’ stands for Priyanka, patience and pyar. That down time has taught me that come what may, my wife will always be my strength.”
Undoubtedly Suresh Raina is the most valuable player in the shortest format of the game. He can make a great impact with his presence in the team. An all-rounder, he is useful with the bat, with the ball and on the field.
He has the capability to score big and fast. He can also save many runs in the field and also ‘roll over his arms’, as and when needed.
Raina has batted in different positions and has found success, more often than not.
He has been very effective batting at No 3. His average of 36.23 at that position is quite an impressive one. The No 3 position also gives him the opportunity to face more deliveries, so that he can plan and pace his innings.
At that position, he also gets an opportunity to anchor the innings and keep the score board moving. Raina also has registered a century playing at No 3. The century came in the match against South Africa in one of the league game in the T20 World Cup 2010 edition.
The Indian batting would greatly evolve around Kohli, Dhoni and Raina. Dhoni and Raina have established many partnership records and both have been great finishers of the game.
Unfortunately the 29-year old, electrifying batsman is not finding his feet.
Today’s (23rd March) game against Bangladesh is the best opportunity for Raina to rise to the occasion and re-establish is unassailable supremacy in the T20 format of the game, by making his bat do the talking.
It would be good to see Raina play a dominant role in the construction of the Indian innings, be it setting a target or chasing one. It would also be interesting to see him finish the game, in case of a chase, since he is known to be world’s one of the greatest finisher of the game.
Hopefully, Raina would recall his better half’s ‘words of wisdom’ and deliver.