How come Raina comes in for injured opener Dhawan?

Mar 20, 2013, 00:32 IST | A Correspondent

Uttar Pradesh middle-order batsman included after opener Shikhar Dhawan is ruled out due to injury

Just when the national selection committee’s decisions were attracting kudos for India’s sterling performances against Australia, the wise men came up with a strange decision.

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina

Shikhar Dhawan, who injured his left hand while fielding during the Mohali Test, was ruled out of Friday’s fourth and final Test against Australia at New Delhi. The selectors added Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina to the squad. Gambhir was dropped from the squad after his troubles against England in the four-Test series while Raina was not in the Test frame at all where the Australia series is concerned.

According to BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale in the press release that the Board of Control for Cricket in India issued last night, “Gambhir has been diagnosed with jaundice, after undergoing a blood test, earlier today. The official announcement of the team was delayed, as the Board was waiting for the copy of the report.”

It must be stressed here that chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil has been on record saying that Rahane (in the current Test squad) was considered as a middle-order batsman (and not an opener) last year.

With Raina coming in, does this mean that the Uttar Pradesh and Chennai Super Kings player will be given first preference in the middle order if Cheteshwar Pujara is made to open the innings just like he did in the second innings of the Mohali Test? If so, it will be very unfair on Mumbai’s Rahane, who has been in the squad since last year without getting a look-in.

Jaffer forgotten?
And what happened to specialist opener Wasim Jaffer, who scored big runs throughout the last season?  Meanwhile, Dhawan will be out of action for six weeks. India won the first three Tests at Chennai, Hyderabad and Mohali to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which they surrendered in the Australian summer of 2011-12. 

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