More than anyone of us, Suresh Raina would have been surprised at being picked for the tour of New Zealand, taking into account his barren run of form with the bat, and the harsh axing that fell on India’s 2011 world cup winning talisman, Yuvraj Singh.
And, now that he has been given a chance, one, that is perceived to be the last possible opportunity to show his hunger for runs, and repay the faith shown on him by MS Dhoni and the Indian selection committee, I feel, Raina needs to get back to basics and curb his natural instincts of going for the big shots from ball no.1.
Raina needs to adopt a blue-print, which allows him time in the middle, and gives him the much needed “feel good” factor, which has been missing in his game lately. As we go further with this article, I will outline a couple of shots that Raina needs to forget about, if he has ambitions of regaining his lost form.
Suresh Raina is a typical modern day cricketer, who has a very positive outlook to batting, and cricket in general. It’s not often that you see Raina defending, milking the bowlers around, and constructing an one-day innings. Raina has an imperious approach to batting every time he strides to the crease, but unfortunately for him and Team India, it hasn’t quite paid dividends as yet.
One of the positives about Raina’s batting technique has been his ability and willingness to hit down the ground, and not look to play around the line of the delivery. But often times, when the game scenario demands Raina to be circumspect and play within himself, you are bound to see him looking to dab the ball down to third-man, open the face of the blade at the last moment, and such delicate shots that bring about his downfall.
During the ODI series against New Zealand, I’d like to see Raina knuckle down and take the mantle upon himself to spend time in the middle. Raina is the kind of batsman, who can make 10 runs in 25 balls, and suddenly turn it around in the next 25 balls, during which he makes 40 runs. So, even by Suresh Raina’s standards, striving to maintain a strike rate of 90-100 shouldn’t be a predicament.
The delivery, which rises up to the throat area has been a colossal talking point throughout the southpaw’s career, but if he starts to trust his defense and doesn’t solely bank on trying to hit out, I can safely say that Suresh Raina is here to stay.
Suresh Raina has to deliver runs with the bat at no.5 for Team India, and that should be his priority too. But, if he aspires to score runs against New Zealand, which could well be his “make or break” series, and come out in flying colors, he has to trust his defense now more than ever!