“THERE will be bouncers.” The tinge is roughly apocalyptic, as if we could reinstate ‘bouncers’ with ‘blood’ and still keep it relevant. And a initial visible we see subsequently is of Suresh Raina traffic with a short-pitched smoothness targeted during his head. He stiff ducks out of harm’s way.
This is a central promo for India’s arriving limited-overs debate to Australia. One that Raina will usually play a partial purpose in after being left out from a ODI squad. But his cameo in a promo is pithy. It’s a contemptuous denote of how he’s viewed by those hard-selling a shared array that is lacking most context. Which is to say, a flat-track brag who transforms into a sitting steep in front of quick bowlers in unfamiliar conditions. His final sighting in India colours usually gathering home a point. In a Mumbai ODI opposite South Africa, Kagiso Rabada malleable him adult with a bouncer before uprooting his leg-stump from behind his legs even as Raina stood acid for a round somewhere outward his off.
This is not to contend that a promo had anything to do with Sandeep Patil Co’s preference to give adult on Raina in a 50-over format. It was roughly like Indian cricket had had enough. For a decade now, preference cabinet after preference committee, manager after manager — from Greg Chappell job him a ‘next Brian Lara’ to Gary Kirsten spending hours attempting to repair his short-ball emanate — and MS Dhoni, in particular, have corroborated a Uttar Pradesh batsman, watchful for him to live adult those lofty expectations.
Why it has taken a preference makers 223 ODIs to figure out that their long-term investment has frequency paid sufficient dividends is another story altogether. Only 11 others, by a way, have played some-more ODIs for a nation than Raina — who has 5568 runs during 35.46 with 5 centuries — and those embody a who’s who of Indian cricket. For a record, Harbhajan Singh has seemed in 9 some-more than him while Dhoni himself has usually played 44 matches more, in that he’s scored good over 3000 some-more runs notwithstanding batting during identical positions.
At times it’s felt like those selecting him and those subsidy him have been keener on Raina subsequent than a male himself. For, there’s no default of equations that a Indian group government has attempted so that Raina could find a mark to concrete himself in. But to no avail. Raina still seems to be in a state of self-discovery, some-more so now that a group government finally seems to have run out of positions left to put him into.
They’ve attempted him as a anchor during No.3 — yet Virat Kohli competence have played a outrageous purpose in usurping that purpose from him — and as a steadying palm during No.5 and 6. Of late with India struggling to find a big-hitter during a behind finish of their batting line-up, Raina has been slated as a ‘finisher’ and he perceived a run during it opposite South Africa and progressing too. And when his batting has not fired, captains and selectors comparison have forked out during a ability to chip in with his harmless off-spin as being a poignant value further that a group can do with. But his successes have been singular to flickers.
Each time, it’s not a group government that has failed. If anything it is Raina who’s let them down. It’s distinct because we would wish Raina in a shorter formats. There’s talent there for sure. And it has come by on occasions. India’s success in a 2011 World Cup had a lot to do with Raina’s match-winning cameo in a quarterfinal opposite Australia. Last year, it was a Raina century in Cardiff that set a substructure for a famous ODI array win in England after a Test group had been thrashed. There was also a monumental century in Auckland progressing this year opposite Zimbabwe from a unsafe position to keep India’s dominant run going in a 2015 World Cup. And if nothing, Raina was among a initial Indian batsmen to master a inside-out lofted shot over a covers, one that he used opulently while apropos a initial Indian to measure a T20 ton opposite South Africa in a 2010 book of a World T20. For many, he still stays a satisfactory choice for ODIs in a subcontinent. But with averages slow in a 20s when he’s been unprotected to pitches in Australia and South Africa, it’s flattering apparent because he’s never utterly gotten over a ‘bad tourist’ reputation.
His celebrity too competence have had something to do with a ceaselessly prolonged wire that has come his approach given creation his entrance as a baby-faced expert in 2005. That is notwithstanding his sincere attempts during being Mr Congeniality of a Indian group not carrying always left down good behind home, and even with some of his teammates, he still enjoys his satisfactory share of fandom overseas. While in India he’s looked during as someone who competence call a ‘pleaser’, he has his admirers even as distant as in a Caribbean, where he remains, for many, their favourite Indian cricketer.
It’s easy to see because he would interest to we as a neutral. He’s lively, he’s enterprising and always giving his all on a field. For all his drawbacks with a bat, he has consistently remained one of India’s best fielders. He never shies divided from any shortcoming thrown during him, and seems to try and broach it diligently. There’s also a mildness quotient. Once during a nail-biting ODI competition during Sabina Park, Raina had run all a approach from low midwicket to a center with birthday wishes for Kemar Roach. It was a gesticulate that pennyless a tragedy around Kingston for a brief impulse as a throng cheered and roared for Raina before going behind to roaming on their fingernails.
There has, also, never been a default of tongue-in-cheek remarks about his alliance to Dhoni, and how mostly that is cited as a reason for his intriguing longevity in a ODI team. And usually a week after their long-standing partnership in a yellow of Chennai Super Kings was damaged — with Dhoni being picked by Pune and Raina by Rajkot in a IPL breeze — Patil Co have ensured that Dhoni will have to do make do though his go-to male in a five-match array opposite Australia.
He will still make it Down Under for a three-match T20 series. But with a subsequent vital ICC ODI events — Champions Trophy in 2017 and World Cup in 2019 — still a satisfactory approach away, being forsaken during this theatre should worry a 29-year-old. With a selectors selecting to demeanour long-term for options in ODIs, he competence have to wait a while before even removing a look-in again, if that is to happen.
Waiting in a wings
It’s not that if his replacements, Manish Pandey for now, destroy that a selectors indispensably will go behind to Raina. There are copiousness of younger names that they can select from — Shreyas Iyer comes to mind— before they even cruise looking back. An normal of 13.75 in a Vijay Hazare Trophy for Uttar Pradesh heading to a preference cabinet assembly wasn’t utterly a kind of earnings Raina indispensable to win behind a trust of a 5 correct men. It competence be beforehand to bring a finish of a ‘rope’ for him during this juncture, though a axing from a ODI patrol is a pointer that there competence not be most length left on it anymore.
And yes, there will be bouncers when India land in Australia. But Raina will be fending them off from in front of his radio and not on it, during slightest in a initial half of a debate anyway.