Suresh Raina is the X-factor for India in 2015 World Cup
The only weakness is now conquered:
Suresh Raina played his debut match in 2005, but even years after his debut his weakness against the short ball was exposed to every now and then. As a result, his confidence level was very low. He didn’t feature in all the matches that India played in the 2011 World Cup. However, his innings against Pakistan in the semi-final under extreme circumstances was a joy to watch.
It seemed Suresh Raina was in no hurry to get over his weakness of facing the short balls till the time when he was sacked from the Asia cup earlier this year. It came in as a big blow to Raina. However, Raina took important tips from the former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly who helped him with the short ball. The result was his brilliant display with the bat in the World cup T20 2014 and the IPL. The way he tackled the short ball, one would never believe once he had a difficulty playing it.
The stroke maker:
Suresh Raina is a stroke player. All the shots he plays are text book cricketing shots, from the delightful and pleasing to eye inside out shot to the step down to a spinner, he can play every shot in the book. He is a perfect example of an orthodox cricket player.
2014, Glorious days for Raina:
Suresh Raina has had a brilliant 2014. The start wasn’t that great when he got sacked from the Asia cup, but with the T20 and IPL he proved again that he is not going to give up. He made a comeback to the national team as a captain for an away series against Bangladesh. Raina didn’t disappoint as India won the series comfortably. Selected in the ODI squad against England and taking valuable tips from Sachin Tendulkar, Raina scored his 4th ODI hundred in the very first match on the tour. He finished as the highest run scorer in the tournament with 160 runs in 4 matches and was awarded the man of the series. From getting sacked for the Asia cup to getting the man of the series is England is where one sees the determination and the transformation as a player like Raina.
In the recently abandoned series against West Indies, Raina scored 2 half centuries in 3 matches to indicate that he is needed in Team India for the World Cup.
Raina should bat at no.4:
The positions where the players will bat is still not decided and it will upto MS Dhoni to play a gamble whether to play Raina at no.4 or not. With the fight for the opening slot is still on between Rahane and Rohit Sharma, it shouldn’t affect Raina’s batting position. If a team wants to utilize Raina’s services, he should be given the no.4 position. Rahane can open the innings with Dhawan and Rohit Sharma can bat at no.5. Virat Kohli at no.3.
The Test still waits:
Though Suresh Raina has made a positive comeback to the national side, his Test status is still in doubts. It is not sure whether he will be given an opportunity based on his limited overs form to play in Australia. Rahane and Pujara have made their mark in Tests with centuries abroad and it is going to be really difficult to get into the team. It is also unlikely he will get selected for the Tests in Australia later this year. So, Raina still has to wait for a Test recall.
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