3 Reasons why Suresh Raina should have been included in India's ODI squad vs West Indies
The squad announced by the BCCI for the first two ODIs against West Indies is as follows-
Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, K Khaleel Ahmed, Lokesh Rahul, Umesh Yadav
A huge name missing from the list of players is that of the left-handed middle-order batsman Suresh Raina. Apart from being a handy middle-order batsman, the Uttar Pradesh boy can put a control on the opposition’s scoring rate with his off-breaks and can also stop the batsmen from rotating the strike with his fielding skills.
With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 under a year away, the Indian selectors should have given the 31-year-old a final opportunity to prove himself.
Here are the top 3 reasons why Raina should have been a part of the ODI squad-
#3 A reliable and experienced batsman
Suresh Raina is perhaps the only Indian cricketer who can play fearlessly and can slog from the first ball itself. In the last 10 overs of the innings, Raina can be vital as he can score runs at a faster rate while consuming the minimum number of balls.
However, fans questioned his big hitting abilities when the stalwart failed to fire in the ODI series in England where he had a poor strike rate. The selectors did not pick him for the Asia Cup, but Team India’s search for a reliable No.4 batsman wasn’t solved in the 6 Asia Cup matches they played without Raina.
Raina is a flexible batsman and can even play in the lower order. He can play a match-winning innings at whatever position he is asked to play at. Virat Kohli at number 3, Dhoni at 4, Pant at 5 and Raina at 6 form the strongest middle-order which can be a nightmare for any bowling attack.