Why this series is vital for Suresh Raina
Raina needs to reinvent himself to revive the second half of his career
After winning the Test Series 3-0 rather comfortably, India now moves to the 5 ODIs to take on New Zealand, where a tougher fight can be expected from the visitors who have had a torrid time on the tour so far. New Zealand is ranked at number 3 just above India and so the results could be different from the Test series.
A lot is going to change for the home side as the players move on from the whites to coloured clothing. MS Dhoni will be back as the skipper, the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja being rested makes way for Amit Mishra, Akshar Patel and Jayant Yadav.
The Test batting specialists Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara will find some time off from the game and the others like Manish Pandey and Kedhar Jadhav got the well-deserved chances in the team.
But above all, the limelight would be on Suresh Raina who is making a comeback in the 50-overs side after being left out due to inconsistent performances. He last played an ODI almost a year back against South Africa in Mumbai where India got a beating off the hands of the Proteas who scored a massive 438 in the first innings to beat India by 214 runs and won the series 3-2.
The return of Raina is going to a very important one for his cricketing career who should feel fortunate to be a part of the squad despite the emergence of numerous young cricketers in the Indian contingent. The left-hander has to prove his mettle once again to stand out amongst the hugely talented bunch of cricketers.
There is absolutely no doubt about the skills of Raina who has won so many matches for the country in the years gone by. At his peak, he was a prominent member in the team and it literally was not possible to leave him out due to his consistency. He played the role of an all-rounder for so long and had become a trustable player for Dhoni.
He was an excellent batsman down the order and along with the skipper Dhoni, won several matches for India from virtually losing positions. ODI cricket was always his speciality and with his useful bowling and agility in the outfield, he had become an asset for the team. With 5568 runs at an average of 35.46 and a strike rate of over 93, he has a wonderful ODI record batting at number 5 and 6.
Let’s take a look at some aspects of Suresh Raina’s game.