Return of the southpaws: How Yuvraj and Raina can put themselves in contention for the WC2019
The pool of players currently searching for a spot in the Indian Cricket Team is large. To stand out and get a place in the team requires a lot of dedication on the part of the players. Team India's batting lineup consists of all the right handers except Shikhar Dhawan.
That reduces the probability of right hand-left hand combination at the batting crease.In such a case, we may think of some of India's flourished southpaws who could find a spot in the batting lineup.
With many young players in the fray, we have a look at what may bring back the veterans like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina in the ICT for the World Cup 2019.
Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh have been an integral part of India's World Cup winning side of 2007.Yuvraj Singh earned his Man of the Series trophy scoring 362 runs and taking 15 wickets throughout the tournament. These runs and wickets came at crucial spots which turned some matches into India's favour. Suresh Raina, on the other hand had a different role of scoring runs in the final overs of the innings.
He got his chance to bat only in 3 matches of the 2011 World Cup but he gave justice to his spot by scoring important 30s at SR 104.48 in the Quarter Finals and Semi Finals against Australia and Pakistan respectively. Having such experienced players who have "been there done that" before would prove to be a big boost for the ICT.
Some of the factors that will decide their spot in the ICT are :
The form of these players in the domestic circuit whenever they play will surely have to be atleast matching the standards they have previously set for themselves. It will not be easy for any of these players to maintain the form because of the less no. of matches they will be playing in the domestic circuit.
Suresh Raina is currently playing the Duleep Trophy whil Yuvraj is not playing domestic matches currently. Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy starting in October 17 and February 18 might well be the last domestic tournaments for Raina and Yuvraj to prove their worth ahead of the mega event.
One may argue that the IPL 2018 may also provide them a chance in the squad, but they will surely not get selected in the ICT based only on their performances in the IPL
Virat Kohli maintains a very high fitness level and expects everyone in the team to be extremely fit. While they both bat in the middle order there are less chances of them requiring to bat more than 35-40 overs which requires a lot of stamina. Raina still fields very well which may work in his favour finding a place in the ICT.
Yuvraj seems to be slowing down a bit but can be a wily customer for effecting runouts in the powerplay overs. With many teams like Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, England having high quality players, the competition with the bat and ball may be a tough one and the fielding may be the difference in the teams suceeding in the WorldCup.
In such a situation, a player might not get selected just on the basis of his batting form but also may require to be quick on the field.
Composition of the team
The ICT has a strong middle order with the likes of Dhoni, Jadhav and Pandya but Raina and Yuvraj can be equally lethal when in form. Their selection will also require the failure of the midle order on a regular basis.
Just the fielding will not get them a place in the side. Both of them havethe ability to bowl some overs if required. Suresh Raina, like Jadhav, is a right arm off-spinner while Yuvraj is a left arm bowler. In England, teams wont be requiring many spinners.
If Virat decides to play only 1 spinner then both of them can provide a cushion of an extra spinner if required in the game. This may well work in their favour as well.
Time remaining for World Cup
None of the teams make major changes in their probable World Cup squad 8-10 months before the event. The World Cup starting at the end of May 19, probably the cut-off will be July 2018 for these two to get into the side.
They have around 10 months in hand. Their good performances in the above mentioned domestic tournaments will be the only hope for them to get back in the team !
The current Indian team looks to be a stable one and there are less chances of Virat Kohli making any major changes in the squad preparing for the World Cup in 2019.
Also, these southpaws have to satisfy the requirements discussed and then hope for luck to be on their side to make it into the team. Having players of their class will obviously be a boon for the team. Both of them are eager and are working hard to find a place in the team which is evident from their social media accounts.
Having such a tough road ahead, the return of the southpaws is a mystery looking