Yesterday, Suresh Raina was elected as the captain of the Board President’s XI side which will play a 3-day practice game against West Indies before the start of the 2 Tests. The decision to bring Raina in the side is obvious, as Ravi Shastri recently expressed that he wants to get Raina back to playing Tests. However, Suresh Raina would captain the side was a huge surprise.
Suresh Raina who made a century on his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2010, hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the fans and the selection committee which saw him out the Test squad. So far, he has only played 17 tests with a poor average of 28.44 with 7 fifties and 1 hundred. With the form Raina is in at the moment, the selectors thought this is the right time for him to get used to Test playing conditions.
It is a golden opportunity for Raina to make a mark in this match and restart his stalled Test career once again. However it is not going to be that easy. Pujara and Rahane have looked fantastic with the bat in the Test matches, except on the England tour which was a disaster for all. On the other hand, Rohit Sharma is in the Board President’s side as well and he will be trying to prove a point too. So, for Raina, this is an important period if he eyes a comeback into the Test side.
Also in the Board President’s XI, there are two youngsters, KL Rahul and Karun Nair. The 19 year old Kuldeep Yadav is in the side too. Naman Ojha and Wriddhiman Saha are the two wicket-keepers selected for this match.
Board President’s XI Squad Suresh Raina (captain), Jiwanjot Singh, KL Rahul, Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Karun Nair, Parvez Rasool, Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Jasprit Bumrah, Karn Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav.