Cricket is a cruel sport at times. It can place you on a pedestal at one moment and the other you could be trying your hardest to make it to the squad.
One has got to feel for Suresh Raina. The left-hander is still one of the most loved cricketers in the country thanks to his contributions over the past 6 to 8 years. Raina was a mainstay of the limited overs side for many years because of his useful contributions in the middle and lower order and his ability on the field. Raina would also contribute with the ball when called upon and he really was someone who seemed to have cemented his place in the squad.
However, Raina’s bad run of form started somewhere at the end of 2015. He was good at the World Cup in Australia, having even scored a century in a tough game versus Zimbabwe. However, post that, he suddenly became vulnerable to a lot of short balls.
No central contract
This year, Suresh Raina was not included in the list of 32 players who received a central contract from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). This was a clear giveaway by the board that they aren’t looking to give Raina a chance in the near future.
Raina also seemed to have lost a bit of his fitness and was seeing the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav putting his place under pressure. It seemed like Raina was slowly being shunted out and the England and New Zealand series was a stark indicator to how the team was looking to approach the future. Also, his well-documented failure against the short ball was a weakness that a lot of bowlers began to exploit.
ICC Champions Trophy 2017 snub
In 2017 however, he showed signs of some form and was able to play some good innings in the IPL for the Gujarat Lions team. A lot of people felt that Raina would make a comeback in the Champions Trophy, especially for the reserve team on standby. However, once Manish Pandey was injured and ruled out, the selectors decided to field Dinesh Karthik instead, handing a blow to Raina’s hopes.
Snub for the West Indies tour
The Indian team for the series against West Indies was announced and it was expected that the team would probably hand Raina a lifeline. However, that has not been the case and Raina was once again dropped. This happened despite the fact that Rohit Sharma was rested. What does this mean for the southpaw? Is his career in the blues of India in serious jeopardy? Will he be able to make a comeback if possible? It will remain to be seen.