Suresh Raina became the first casualty amongst batsmen following disastrous ODI series in South Africa and New Zealand where India lost 0-2 and 0-4 respectively.
Raina’s exclusion was in line with the Sandeep Patil-led selection panel’s decision to ignore non-performing seniors.
Suresh Raina scored just one half-century in his last 24 one-dayers. PIC/Getty Images.
The southpaw, however, was lucky to retain his place in the squad for the ICC World T20 which will be held in Bangladesh next month.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been prolific in Tests for India, returned to the 50-over set up, giving a much-needed boost to his hopes of playing the 2015 World Cup.
Paceman Ishant Sharma, who was dropped from the T20 and ODI squads, was the only other exclusion from the team that played in New Zealand.
Ever since the ODI series against England in 2012-13 when he scored five half-centuries, Raina has been off-colour.
In 24 ODI innings, he has scored just one half-century (against Zimbabwe last year). In the last four series (vs Australia and West Indies at home) and (vs South Africa and New Zealand away), Raina’s highest score was 39.
Iron out flaws
Pravin Amre, who coached Raina last year, said the break could be a blessing in disguise for the struggling batsman.
“In a way, this break is good. He has been constantly travelling to various places, playing in different conditions and would not have had time to work on his game and flaws. This break would give him that much needed time to understand where he is going wrong. It could be a blessing in disguise,” Amre told MiD DAY yesterday.
The former India batsman and a successful Mumbai coach said the axe had to fall on someone after poor results in the last two overseas tours. “Someone had to be dropped… it was expected especially after losing 0-4 to New Zealand.
Raina was not in form and he got dropped. But I am happy that the selectors have retained him for the World T20. It may revive his form. At the highest level, it is a matter of just one good series,” said Amre. However, Amre refrained from talking about Raina’s batting technique. “I am not associated with him any more. So, for me to comment on where he is going wrong would not be appropriate. You cannot pick everything from television.
“This is not the first time he is being dropped. I am confident that he will bounce back and come out stronger,” Amre signed off.
>> Squad for Asia Cup: MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey
>> Squad for World Twenty20: MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron