Discarded middle-order batsman Suresh Raina has expressed his utter disappointment after being left out of India’s 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.
The southpaw lost his place in the One-Day International side after a string of inconsistent displays in the last one year or so. His last ODI appearance had come way back in October 2015 during the five-match series against South Africa.
On the friendly pitches, the southpaw struggled against the Protea bowlers and was dropped from the team thereafter. In first three matches of the series- he registered a score of three in the first ODI followed by two ducks in the next two games. He scored a fifty in the fourth match but another failure in the final fixture was enough for the selectors to show him the door.
He was recalled for the ODI series against New Zealand in October last year but did not play a single game due to illness. However, getting recalled for the T20 series against England earlier this year was enough to show that the left-handed batsman was in the scheme of things as far as the limited-overs team was concerned.
He justified the faith shown in him by finishing the three-match series as its third highest run-getter with 104 runs. Moreover, his impressive form in the ongoing IPL, where he is currently second in the list of highest run-scorers with 434 runs in 12 outings, would have only boosted his confidence of playing the 50-over cricket again.
However, the selectors have pinned their hopes on the likes of Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav to take care of the middle-order in the eight-team tournament which begins on June 1 in England.
The setback would surely be a big blow for his confidence and the Uttar Pradesh star did not hesitate in expressing his disappointment.
“What can I say now? It’s really disappointing and hurting. I was expecting a comeback call this time,” Raina told Hindustan Times on Monday (May 8).
“I have been performing well and consistently, proving myself in the ongoing IPL season. Certainly, it is not on the expected lines but I would let my bat do the talking as I am sure of my comeback in the Indian squad one day,” added said Raina, who has been included on the standby list for the upcoming event.
He further said that he is just focusing on leading the Gujarat Lions in the IPL for the time being. The table-toppers of last year are already out of the contention for a playoff berth and Raina would be keen to lead them to a respectable exit from the tournament.
“Right now I am focusing on my remaining matches in the IPL and would try to score as much as I can for the team’s victory,” said Raina, who has become the first batsman to score 4500 IPL runs.
“Wins in the remaining matches will lift the spirit of the team though we have already missed the cut for the play-offs,” he added.