Not long ago, Suresh Raina was one of the most important members of Indian Cricket Team in limited overs cricket. Known for his aggressive style of batting and brilliant fielding, Suresh Raina has a huge fan following in India, and it would be fair to say that he has earned each and every one of them.
Many cricket pundits across the world believe that Suresh Raina’s career is going downhill very fast and he will have to something extraordinary at the domestic level to push the selectors for a spot in India’s national team, in One Day Internationals (ODI) and T20 internationals (T20I).
In the tenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2017), Suresh Raina led The Gujarat Lions and he was one of the leading run-scorers of the tournament. With 442 runs in 14 matches, Suresh Raina was the fifth highest run-scorer of the tournament. And since then, he been working hard on improving his game and fitness.
A couple of days ago, Suresh Raina shared some pictures from the National Cricket Academy (NCA), where he had gone to give a fitness test, along with MS Dhoni and some other Indian cricketers.
But why was Suresh Raina not picked in the squad for ODIs and T20I against Sri Lanka?
Apart from IPL, Suresh Raina hasn’t played too much cricket in the last few months and selectors don’t have a very strong reason to pick him. Also, in ODIs, Raina bats at number 4 or below, and India have Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya for number 4, 5, 6 and 7 spot, not necessarily in that order.
Talking about Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav, these two batsmen have been doing well at all levels and across all three formats of the game. In the recently concluded India A tour, Manish Pandey batted very well and led India to victory. On the other hand, Kedar Jadhav, since this inclusion in India’s limited-overs squad, has batted consistently for India. He has also contributed time and again with his off-spin.
Now, there are two ways Raina can make a comeback.
1) If either of Jadhav and Pandey, or both, fail horribly and selectors look to replace them.
2) If Suresh Raina does something extraordinary at the domestic level and keep himself in news for good reasons.