Suresh Raina: A veteran T20 specialist gunning for an ODI spot
Suresh Raina has yet again proved that he deserves to be there in the Indian T20I side based on his consistent batting, bowling, and fielding performances. His batting display in the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa has been top class with the scores of 15 (7 balls), 31 (24 balls) and 43 (27 balls).
He showed enough character in the way batting requires to be done in 20 over matches. Particularly in the third match, after the fall of Rohit Sharma's wicket and him being promoted to number three, he scored fluently with some eye-catching shots across and over the boundary line during the power-play which is always needed by the top order of any batting side.
He was rightly adjudged Man of the Match for his all-round display on the pitch and on the field with the ball. This is the result of his consistent practice and hard work when he was not selected for the country.
His batting display has given enough confidence to the selectors who have selected him for the upcoming Nidahas Trophy, a T20I tri-series to be played amongst three teams of the subcontinent, namely India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
He also bowled well when given a chance in the third T20I and took the all-important wicket of David Miller who was an important pillar of the South African batting line-up. His bowling figures helped India towards victory, with him conceding 27 runs in three overs in a high-scoring game.
He has also proven that he can be very well used for the four overs in T20I, filling in the place of a batting all-rounder. His right arm spin bowling gives the side an extra option to experiment with.
His fielding acumen has always been a thing of pride in the past. The 31-year-old is still very active and energetic on the field which shows the way to the young players. His running between the wickets has also been superb, which pushes the batsmen at the other end to convert the singles into doubles, a quality which is essential in T20 cricket.
Being a senior player and having a lot of experience of T20 cricket owing to his performances in the IPL, he is always an asset to have in your side. He will surely be looking forward to proving his mettle in the T20Is.
All these qualities make Suresh Raina a T20 specialist. All of his skills come in handy in the shorter format of the game and he will be looking to make a mark in the upcoming Nihadas Trophy to be in contention for a return to the Indian ODI side with the ICC World Cup 2019 just around the corner.