What’s the Story?
After not getting picked in India’s 15-man squad for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, middle-order batsman Suresh Raina has expressed disappointment, stating that he was expecting a comeback to the Indian setup and was hurting by the omission.
“What can I say now? It’s really disappointing and hurting. I was expecting a comeback call this time.
“I have been performing well and consistently, proving myself in the ongoing IPL season. Certainly it is not on the expected lines but I would let my bat do the talking as I am sure of my comeback in the Indian squad one day,” he told The Hindustan Times.
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When the selectors announced the Champions Trophy squad on Monday, The Uttar Pradesh left-hander found himself out fo favour as the panel decided to opt for a predictable squad, which would have the job of retaining the title they won in 2013.
The omission of Raina caused a lot of outrage in social media, with many believing that India could have used his experience of playing and succeeding in England previously, at the quadrennial event.
The heart of the matter
Even as the Gujarat Lions have faltered in the 2017 Indian Premier League, Raina has endured a decent run with the bat, scoring 434 runs in 12 matches at a very good strike-rate of 146.
However, it needs to be remembered that for India, his selection has been merely restricted to T20Is in the past 15-16 months. His last ODI for India came in October 2015 in the series decider against South Africa at home.
Keeping that in mind, the selectors perhaps decided to go with Manish Pandey as the additional middle-order option in the squad.
Although not in the 15-man squad for the tournament, Raina has been picked as one of the five standbys for the competition, in case a player gets injured. These five players will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru after the finish of the IPL and train to keep themselves fit, in case an emergency comes up.
One can understand Raina’s disappointment in not finding a spot in the Indian cricket team for the Champions Trophy. He was part of the squad that won in 2013 and also featured in the 2015 World Cup, but since then has not got a place in the ODI scheme of things on a regular basis.
He will hope that the upcoming domestic season proves to be a fruitful one for him so that he can regain his spot in the 50-over team soon.