Australia in India 2013-14 October 14, 2013

India begin Project Raina

India are trialling Suresh Raina at No 4 as back-up for Yuvraj Singh ahead of the 2015 World Cup. But does Raina have the game to succeed in the top order?
296

As he dissected India's performance after their heavy defeat to Australia in the first ODI, MS Dhoni also revealed an important development: India are trying to develop Suresh Raina as a No 4 batsman with an eye on the 2015 World Cup. This was why Raina had been sent in ahead of long-time No 4 Yuvraj Singh in Pune, and he would bat there for a while, according to his captain.

"As of now what we want is for Suresh to bat at No 4 for a considerable period of time," Dhoni said. "It's only Yuvraj Singh who we have got and if he is in good form and we go till the World Cup without anything happening, then he will bat there. But if he doesn't, all of a sudden we can't say we do not have a No 4 batsman.

"All the other slots, we have players and we even have replacements. But apart from Yuvraj, I don't see anybody who has batted 50 ODIs at No 4. That can be a concern and we will have to rectify that from this point. No point going too late and then saying we don't have time to do anything."

Dhoni's rationale in wanting a back-up for a crucial batting position is understandable, especially given Yuvraj's recent history. Yes, he's made his second comeback since recovering from cancer but it is still unclear how his form will hold up as the World Cup approaches. He is obviously the first-choice No 4 but there is every reason to have a contingency plan in place.

So for the second time in his eight-year international career, Raina will get another sustained run up the order. The first opportunity had come in 2008, when over 13 successive innings in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India, he produced one century and four fifties at an average of nearly 40.

As his career has progressed, Raina's desire to gain a promotion in the line-up has increased. He's seen Virat Kohli come in and establish himself at No 3 with a string of hundreds. Raina knows that for all the death-over slogging, it is the centuries that catch attention and bring lasting recognition. Last year, Raina pointed out that he'd "scored only three (ODI) hundreds", as he staked his claim for elevation again.

While Raina's desire cannot be faulted, mere elevation in the batting order will not result in more hundreds. They will have to be earned by taking on the responsibility of building an innings, something Raina hasn't exactly shown the inclination for when he has been given the chance. Captaincy should ideally translate into more cautious batting, as in Dhoni's case, but when Raina led India in Zimbabwe in 2010 and in the West Indies in 2011, he refused to change his aggressive approach.

India had sent second-string sides for both tours, and Raina mostly came in with plenty of overs to go after a top-order wobble. In nine innings over those tours, he averaged 23.57, including two not-outs in chases that were almost over by the time he walked in. Three times he failed going for his favourite slog-sweep when the situation demanded restraint.

In Pune, Raina looked to launch James Faulkner over midwicket, after gaining a hard-earned start against Mitchell Johnson's pace, and fell for 39. It was not the ideal response from a No 4 batsman at that point in a tough chase. Raina, however, is used to going for similar strokes to similar deliveries. Aggression comes naturally to him. Also, an overwhelming majority of his career has been spent at No 5 or below. Often, he doesn't have the luxury of getting himself in so these shots are instinctive.

It is not to say Yuvraj would have never gone for the same shot at that moment. But at No 4, a batsman must temper the urge to turn a 10-run over into a 16-run over with an eye on the big picture. Yuvraj has done that successfully for more than a decade. He can hit six sixes in an over in a Twenty20, but he also makes sure he lasts long enough to get the big scores that win ODI games. That necessitates controlling the urge to deposit one more over midwicket. It needs one to duck under a few short balls early on rather than try to work them for singles, one of Raina's preferred ways of handling the bouncer barrage he usually faces. Dhoni knows Raina will need some time to unlearn and adjust.

"We will have to give him some kind of experience at No 4," Dhoni said. "He's batted too long at No 6. That is why sometimes you see these instinctive shots, when the batsman sees and goes after them. It is very important that he uses these opportunities well. Then we'll have two batsmen who have a fair amount of exposure at No 4."

Raina has the chance to increase his centuries from "only three." Will he able to adapt and rein himself in? India will have a clearer picture of his ability by the end of the Australia series.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jimbond on October 15, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Good move to play Raina at No. 4. If Yuvraj plays, Raina can of course bat at No. 5 or 6. Raina has unresolved weaknesses against short pitched pace bowling, but this becomes evident in tests, and makes him unsuitable as a test player. In ODIs, the restrictions on number of bouncers and the field restrictions allow Raina to adapt tof his weakness. He does have the abiity to play more variety of strokes than any other player in this ODI team. The other option could have been to play Dhoni at number 4. That will however leave a gap at No. 7 where a finisher is required and Indian dont have any finisher currently other than Dhoni.

  • Unmesh_cric on October 14, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    I don't always support Dhoni's tactics or strategies, but I think he may be on to something here. The No.4 position is very crucial in ODIs. It is a link between the top order and the lower middle order. As much as I dislike Raina considered for Tests, I think he is a brilliant limited-overs batsman. His contributions are sometimes beyond stats in ODIs and T20s. He gives the team the much needed acceleration in the closing stages of the match. Generally, Dhoni does not like to start in an attacking way right from the beginning of his inning. It is Raina who keeps the run rate going during those overs between 35 to 45. Dhoni then closes the game at the end. It is definitely worth grooming Raina for No. 4 in ODIs since the other contenders like Dinesh Karthik did not seem convincing. In case Yuvraj is injured, we do need a back-up for that position.

  • on October 17, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    I was opening batsman,My suggestion to Raina is to wait on pitch for more than 25 overs. In ODI's doesn't need to score run at 7/8 Run rate every time.He need to learn how pace the innings. He can make some little adjustment in his stance and can hit short ball at his will.His left shoulders falls on off stump. If he stand out side leg stump he can view the line of ball more accurately. I think everyone need opprtunity and Raina deserves it.

  • reghuh on October 16, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    This is all good....but i seriously think that Vinay Kumar and Ishant sharma should be sacked immediately and even if two solid batsmen are taken , it wont do more harm......someone like Dinesh Karthik/Rayudu/Uthappa/Yousuf Pathan can be brought in - bowling 20 overs can be managed by even Kohli/raina/yuvraj who may not leak more than what ishant/vinay did today and in last match........

  • Anil_Koshy on October 16, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    We have better players than Raina like Rayadu, Karthik, Saurabh Tiwari etc., why waste time on Raina, he has shown no improvement against short bowls, he technique is very poor against quality fast bowling.

  • on October 16, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Project raina- hmm sounds interesting as any project would do, but player in question is a veteran of 170+ matches & still need grooming. sounds absurd. And added to that, i dont think he's technically that sound. But dhoni stating there's no other option sounds hallow as they have options in rahane, raydu, and some upcoming players like samson.I dint include pujara bcos he's fitness would b under scanner given he's got 2 knee surgeries done. But i would b more concerned with our bowling resources. How long would v play aswin & jadaeja together given both of them r overt line & length bowlers with minimum turn. Mishra can prove our trump card given his guile & spin. He's not bad with bat either. lets see ?

  • on October 16, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    What is Vinay Kumar still doing in the team..? Get him out and bring in M. Shami to bowl at least he is better at taking wickets. The bowling unit is always India's misery Ashwin can try out his tricks sitting in the bench. Match is not the right place for it.

  • on October 16, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Why experiment for number 4 when yuvi perfoming well , can india need only replacement for nmbr 4 yuvi , there is no need for the replacement for vinay , ashwin and ishant who not performing well at the.moment . It means india only need replacement for performing slot and not for the non-performing slots . And whats mishra done wrong ? Can any tell me

  • HDG1978 on October 16, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    @ Kapil Dhoni is biased and that shows. Ishant is the only player that has got a long rope and is not a CSK guy. Murali Vijay has not scored heavily for Dhoni to press his case in place of Dhawan. Pujara and Rahane despite obvious talent and Pujara's success in Tests as the pivotal No.3 has not got his chances in the one-day team when Dhoni has been around. Ashwin is good but has been persisted with despite some mediocre performances while Amit Mishra continues to warm the benches. As for Project Raina, seriously not required as there can be only one project currently, drop him for the last 4 ODIs on current form if he does not fire in the next 2. And what about stand-by WK and couple of back-up openers with experience in NZ, SA, Eng and Aus conditions before WC. Dhoni seems to have conveniently turned a blind eye to it. If Aus win this series, Dhoni needs to cop the blame. However, would back him to remain the skipper till 2015 wC

  • Ajit_Hegde on October 16, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    I dont think its a right move by Dhoni. As N number of opportunities where given to Mr Raina which he did not utilize. He is just a T-20 Player nothing else. My suggestion is Rohit Sharma and Raina should not be included in the playing !! Let them find their for and get fit for Oneday matches.

  • jimbond on October 15, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Good move to play Raina at No. 4. If Yuvraj plays, Raina can of course bat at No. 5 or 6. Raina has unresolved weaknesses against short pitched pace bowling, but this becomes evident in tests, and makes him unsuitable as a test player. In ODIs, the restrictions on number of bouncers and the field restrictions allow Raina to adapt tof his weakness. He does have the abiity to play more variety of strokes than any other player in this ODI team. The other option could have been to play Dhoni at number 4. That will however leave a gap at No. 7 where a finisher is required and Indian dont have any finisher currently other than Dhoni.

  • Unmesh_cric on October 14, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    I don't always support Dhoni's tactics or strategies, but I think he may be on to something here. The No.4 position is very crucial in ODIs. It is a link between the top order and the lower middle order. As much as I dislike Raina considered for Tests, I think he is a brilliant limited-overs batsman. His contributions are sometimes beyond stats in ODIs and T20s. He gives the team the much needed acceleration in the closing stages of the match. Generally, Dhoni does not like to start in an attacking way right from the beginning of his inning. It is Raina who keeps the run rate going during those overs between 35 to 45. Dhoni then closes the game at the end. It is definitely worth grooming Raina for No. 4 in ODIs since the other contenders like Dinesh Karthik did not seem convincing. In case Yuvraj is injured, we do need a back-up for that position.

  • on October 17, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    I was opening batsman,My suggestion to Raina is to wait on pitch for more than 25 overs. In ODI's doesn't need to score run at 7/8 Run rate every time.He need to learn how pace the innings. He can make some little adjustment in his stance and can hit short ball at his will.His left shoulders falls on off stump. If he stand out side leg stump he can view the line of ball more accurately. I think everyone need opprtunity and Raina deserves it.

  • reghuh on October 16, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    This is all good....but i seriously think that Vinay Kumar and Ishant sharma should be sacked immediately and even if two solid batsmen are taken , it wont do more harm......someone like Dinesh Karthik/Rayudu/Uthappa/Yousuf Pathan can be brought in - bowling 20 overs can be managed by even Kohli/raina/yuvraj who may not leak more than what ishant/vinay did today and in last match........

  • Anil_Koshy on October 16, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    We have better players than Raina like Rayadu, Karthik, Saurabh Tiwari etc., why waste time on Raina, he has shown no improvement against short bowls, he technique is very poor against quality fast bowling.

  • on October 16, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Project raina- hmm sounds interesting as any project would do, but player in question is a veteran of 170+ matches & still need grooming. sounds absurd. And added to that, i dont think he's technically that sound. But dhoni stating there's no other option sounds hallow as they have options in rahane, raydu, and some upcoming players like samson.I dint include pujara bcos he's fitness would b under scanner given he's got 2 knee surgeries done. But i would b more concerned with our bowling resources. How long would v play aswin & jadaeja together given both of them r overt line & length bowlers with minimum turn. Mishra can prove our trump card given his guile & spin. He's not bad with bat either. lets see ?

  • on October 16, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    What is Vinay Kumar still doing in the team..? Get him out and bring in M. Shami to bowl at least he is better at taking wickets. The bowling unit is always India's misery Ashwin can try out his tricks sitting in the bench. Match is not the right place for it.

  • on October 16, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Why experiment for number 4 when yuvi perfoming well , can india need only replacement for nmbr 4 yuvi , there is no need for the replacement for vinay , ashwin and ishant who not performing well at the.moment . It means india only need replacement for performing slot and not for the non-performing slots . And whats mishra done wrong ? Can any tell me

  • HDG1978 on October 16, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    @ Kapil Dhoni is biased and that shows. Ishant is the only player that has got a long rope and is not a CSK guy. Murali Vijay has not scored heavily for Dhoni to press his case in place of Dhawan. Pujara and Rahane despite obvious talent and Pujara's success in Tests as the pivotal No.3 has not got his chances in the one-day team when Dhoni has been around. Ashwin is good but has been persisted with despite some mediocre performances while Amit Mishra continues to warm the benches. As for Project Raina, seriously not required as there can be only one project currently, drop him for the last 4 ODIs on current form if he does not fire in the next 2. And what about stand-by WK and couple of back-up openers with experience in NZ, SA, Eng and Aus conditions before WC. Dhoni seems to have conveniently turned a blind eye to it. If Aus win this series, Dhoni needs to cop the blame. However, would back him to remain the skipper till 2015 wC

  • Ajit_Hegde on October 16, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    I dont think its a right move by Dhoni. As N number of opportunities where given to Mr Raina which he did not utilize. He is just a T-20 Player nothing else. My suggestion is Rohit Sharma and Raina should not be included in the playing !! Let them find their for and get fit for Oneday matches.

  • CricketFan1113 on October 16, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Even if Dhoni bring Mohit as a repclacement for Ishant, people will say that he is favouring CSK

  • CricketFan1113 on October 16, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    How do you come to conclusion that Rohit & Raina will fail in World cup? Both of them improved their batting a lot in recent times. When India A travelled to South Africa to play two unofficial test matches against South Africa A. Both Raina & Rohit scored centuries in the only innings they played. Pujara too scored a century in that innings and India A won that match without having the need to play the 2nd innings. Vijay, Karthick and Rayudu replaced Dhawan, Rohit & Raina in the 2nd test and they failed to put a decent show. India A lost that match.

  • on October 16, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Why experiment for number 4 when yuvi perfoming well , can india need only replacement for nmbr 4 yuvi , there is no need for the replacement for vinay , ashwin and ishant who not performing well at the.moment . It means india only need replacement for performing slot and not for the non-performing slots . And whats mishra done wrong ? Can any tell me

  • on October 16, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Raina is a talented player,but he needs to analyse the situation and play accordingly.In the 1st ODI, he should have played more responsibly,where he was actually playing well and throwed his wicket away.As far as his scoring is concerned you need to add up 15-20runs to his batting score,as he fields exceptionally well.So,if he had scored 39 runs with the bat,add another 15runs which he had stopped while fielding,so that makes him a big asset in the team.Also he is a team player and doesn't have ego with any1 in the team.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on October 16, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Raina has a lot more talent than any of the Indian cricket experts ( commentators) give him credit for. Apart from talent, he is pretty fearless and also has the tenacity to get the team out of a hole instead of getting bogged down. Rohit Sharma and Yuvaraj can bat only in batsman friendly pitches when the ball doesn't move about, especially close to the off stump, when they tend to edge. Kohli is a grafter and good at number 3. Dhoni doesn't have any technique when the ball moves about outside the off stump. Raina since the age of 19 has been type cast as an ODI specialist just as Pujara is being type cast as a Test specialist. It's this shortshightedness of the selectors that is keeping Pujara away from ODIs and Raina away from Tests... but then the Indian selectors and commentating experts are hardly a bright lot.

  • AjitDJ on October 16, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    India needs to have more alternatives for Ashwin also. This guy is busy getting hit all the time. Has Dhoni given this a thought too?

  • on October 16, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Nothing bad in preparing someone for the particular slot...but I think player in question here is wrong...we must look beyond Raina..he is not for India team now...

  • MeeraKrishna on October 16, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    if India needs a #4 then we also need openers..if we dont want to bring back viru or gauti then we need to groom rahane atleast at #3 and give him a fair go there..also we need a stand by keeper..DK or sanju samson..

  • mahi678 on October 16, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    where is dinesh, rayudu, rahane, murali vijay... all gone with entry of yuvi? do selectors changed thier minst to groom new playrers and continue with old ones like yuvi, raina, rohit, and ishanth!!

  • mahi678 on October 16, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    raina and yuvi were almost same. see the stats. their styles may be different but their performance is same. yuvi got more records and remarkable performances. yuvi played well in crutial moments. raina's fileding was better than yuvi. i saw yuvi do mis field at times. yuvi has some behavior problems so its hard to adjust with captain. yuvi can come back with manificint performance when he was pressurised, but he cant continue same for long run. however yuvi has ability to shine in crutial moments. raina now is in some bad patch. either yuvi or raina anhy one needed but not both. instead bring pujara and groom people like kedar jadav. and try bowlers like unadkat, ishwar pandey or shami instead of ishanth and vinay.

  • on October 16, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    I really don't understand all these theories about Dhoni being biased towards CSK players. The facts just don't hold up. Dhoni preferred Piyush Chawla to Ashwin in the league stages of the 2011 WC and then dropped Ashwin for the final in favor of Sreesanth. Since then Ashwin has been our best spinner, though a bit inconsistent, and has also contributed significantly with the bat. Murali Vijay has never had a long run in Tests and didn't make the ODI team despite his recent 2 150s against Aus. Jadeja got a long rope BEFORE he was a part of CSK because Dhoni saw potential and Jadeja is now repaying that faith - he became a CSK player only recently. Badrinath never got a genuine chance in tests despite tons of runs in Ranji. And Rohit, Ishant and Vinay (and Chawla earlier) have all got long ropes despite not being CSK players. Dhoni just backs who he thinks is good - sometimes he's right, sometimes not but CSK isn't a part of the equation. Raina at 4 is just another trademark Dhoni move.

  • srinideva on October 16, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    @pull_shot, i'm not arguing here about the csk friend..there are comments including yourself saying dhoni backing only csk players..mr.Rohit sharma and ishant are not part of csk ever...raina,jade, ashwin and including the dhoni himself are proven talents in indian team. Jade is no.1 bowler in odi. Ashwin is set to become the fastest 100 wicket taker in india. Raina is a big asset in limited overs cricket...fair enough points.

  • srinideva on October 16, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    @HDG1978, don't get over excited about it my friend. I mentioned that this is not Ipl related article, so you guys wait for that kind of forum to bash csk...btw, who are we to question a man like mr.dhoni...? He can't satisfy each and every one of you here...He got the good results in his carrier as a captain. So why are you guys whining here...i mean everyone who are bashing dhoni here

  • on October 16, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Personally, I would want this side for the future: Gambhir/Rahane to open with Dhawan. Kohli at 3, Rohit Sharma at 4, Yuvraj at 5, Raina at 6, Dhoni at 7, Jadeja at 8, Ashwin at 9, B.Kumar at 10 and Ishant at 11. Yuvraj bowls as a full time 5th bowler. Replace Jadeja/Ashwin with Umesh Yadhav on faster pitches.

  • linguboy on October 15, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    WOW!!!!! I Didn't expect this!!!!! CSK hate it seems. keep it coming. As a CSK fan I am happy to see this.. but as a Indian fan it worries me a lot. Where are we heading??? another regional backlash?? If YUVRAJ is that good as some of these posters mention then why not he prove himself at no.5???? No place is fixed in the middle order as of now. Some of them are claiming Yuvraj is better than Dhoni.(Cut the crap guys. Yuvraj is often a player who plays well in patches) Are you even doubting your Captain who gave you 3 trophies which were just a dream under previous captains??? Will he put WC plans in jeopardy just bcoz he wants to promote CSK players?? If you think so then good luck with that thinking. It will take you nowhere. ciao.

  • Ganapati9 on October 15, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    I request friends to watch the replays of the Pune ODI.Watch the manner in whch Yuvraj got out.He moved away to the leg and poked tentatively at the ball.He looked like a novice,He no longer has the confidence to play fast bowling.It was the same story in the last test series in England.He can not continue in the team on the strength of his bowling.It is time to give Rayudu some opportunities.

  • Bang_La on October 15, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    I support the decision for Raina playing @ No. 4. My personal belief is, Raina's total potential, somehow, was never explored.

  • on October 15, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    Raina Jadeja are Dhoni's blue eyed boys --- Whether they perform or dont perform mark my words they wont be out of the team coz Dhoni has a very strong say and if they fail @ 4 for the next 30 games....he will say it is not #4 that is the problem, it is #6 and he will try him there for another 30 games in the span of 60 he will click somewhere that he will stay in the team till World Cup --- Indian batting currently needs no improvisation. Bowling is what we dont have - Kick out Vinay Kumar and Ishant Useless Sharma and bring in Mohit Sharma and some other young talent that can be honed...Indian batting has too much of a depth for any situation...Rahane is a more technically sound batsman than Raina any day...If it is the R factor that Dhoni cant part with, he can try giving more games to Rahane than Raina. He is sure to come trumps

  • fguy on October 15, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    @bhushanB agree with you. this guy is not a newbie that he needs to be "groomed". basically he lacks the temperament to play the long innings. a 40 is the most you can expect from him, that too if you're lucky & that too in home conditions. he will be a major flop in Aus WC. hopefully dhoni & selectors will realise that sooner rather than later. raina & ishant should be dropped immediately & never be allowed near the international side again.

  • on October 15, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    Good Choice, I need both Raina and Yuvi in the squad playing at 4/5 positions alternatively, which will definitely help the Team composition. Raina is a superior player and can do the scoring and attack from first ball unlike Dhoni or Jadeja. Giving him more chance at position 4 in this Aussie tour definitely help him to clear any of his weakness against the pacy bouncers and control his aggressive instinct to play a little longer innings. Good thought process and Good Move by Dhoni. Yuvi is back and always Mr.Dependable, but we need backup.

  • bhushanB on October 15, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Iam not against Raina at 6, but definitely against raina at 4... By playing him at 4, you are robbing a specialist and technically correct batsman his chance.

  • Aerofight on October 15, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    I believe Raina is not suitable for Australian Wickets. We should not even consider him for World Cup Squad 2015. Look ate his performance overseas and against pace bowlers. He is over-rated player in ODI's. We cant handle pace bowlers nor short balls. Jadeja, he is another lucky go guy. I completely rate him as a 100% spin bowler. He doesn't have enough power in his shoulders to clear the boundaries at will. Groom Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane

  • vkesani on October 15, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    This is Dhoni's worst mind game.He is trying to put pressure on Yuvi . He is scared of Yuvi's form and he doesn't want Yuvi to settle in the team. Dhoni is talking about Yuvis form, did he ever think about his form ? if he get injured or unfit or not in form then who is going to do wicket keeping? If he wants to think about Indian Cricket he should take one full time keeper in the team and he should give him chance to play more matches before the world cup. He has been trying to suppress Yuvi from long time. He tried that with Raina and Jadeja many times.How many chances he gave to Jadeja and Raina? Raina or Jadeja are totally unfit for No.4 position.

  • Nampally on October 15, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    @bhushanti: You are absolutely correct when you name Pujara, Tiwary & Rayudu for #4 position. I would like to add Rahane & Karthik to the list. Dhoni had benched Rahane, Pujara & Tiwary when they were in the squad for ODI's. It is bit rich when Dhoni says that there are no potential candidates for the #4 position when he has eliminated the existing guys by benching them. I would also like to add that Raina is a "finisher" like Dhoni. They generally succeed in the role of the Finishers. If you try to change their tactics, they will fail & will be out of XI. India has 2 world class #4 in Pujara & Kohli. If you ignore the best guys, then it isn't Cricket! It is called POLITICS.

  • bhushanB on October 15, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    You are not a unmukth, baba aparjith, sandeep sharma, Zol, harmeet singh... not a newbie at that level to be groomed.. Even for them it should be at the most 3 series....

    If you need to be groomed after playing close to 200, you heard it right guys about 175+ ODIs.. it is ridiculous

    PERFORM or PERISH should be the mantra

  • bhushanB on October 15, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    Any one remember 'Project Jadeja' when Dhoni mentioned an extended run for Jadeja ahead of Dhoni....

    You are playing at the highest level of cricket and what is this grooming for a particular position for 2 years?

  • bhushanB on October 15, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    So India going to play three seamers( ishanth, vinay, bhuvi), two spinners (ashwin & jadeja), three part timers (yuvi, raina, kohli) ... Is this the plan?

  • bhushanB on October 15, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    someone was talking about Jadeja at crease, needing 100 from 10, forget about 100... 70 is enough to make him break under pressure...

    guys, please remind me one instance where he blazed india to victory in that 6th position?

  • bhushanB on October 15, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Dhoni should have groomed raina for 4th position when Yuvi is out of the team. Playing at No. 5, won't Yuvi lose his magic touch at 4?

    And what happens if Yuvi is fit to play at No 4 in the world cup, Raina sits out?

    There is only one No.4 position, if you have someone settled and another being groomed, you can only play one of them, but not both at the same time.. may be you can rotate them..

  • bhushanB on October 15, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Dhoni trying to shut the door on Pujara, Manoj Tiwary, Rayudu and others?

    Do not make another Laxman out of Pujara... He is trying to stake his claim by scoring fast in tests, which in due course will affect his solidity even in tests.

  • vinay_india_cricket on October 15, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    @GRVJPR: Yes, Sachin had Rahul, Laxman, Saurav, Kumble and Harbhajan.... And, you forgot to mention one of the most important names --- Sehwag, the blaster... Sehwag has set up more matches for India to win... He may be over now, but he was the real star for a decade....

  • shailu2729 on October 15, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    So called Suresh Raina believe to be a good CSK player. Cause he performs superbly only for them. Considering for India his performance is on lower side. In his last 13 matched he had scored 267runs @an average of 20. Taking in point of fielding trust me there are many star performers who are waiting to be in team.

  • Biggest_Cricket_Fan on October 15, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Who MSD is kidding with this approach. We all have seen Suresh Raina and fun we get to see when he is batting against pace and short pitched balls. With this history how would he be possibly be successful in AUS and NZ where the next WC will be played and SR is projected to be in that team. The other option to have SR or other current Indian batsmen to be successful in AUS, NZ would be if AUS, NZ prepares the slow tracks as these bullies are used in India and sub-continent. Who knows BCCI may just ask them to do that as well.

  • on October 15, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Why not have a plan to bring in Rayudu or Punjara at ? Raina is good where he is, he tends to make rash decisions, and is a misfit at 4. I personally don't think he will adapt. He likes to go after the bowling without putting too much thought into what the situation demands.

  • on October 15, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Why is everyone after Raina now...Dhoni's strategy on project Raina is completely wrong. Raina is a finisher. He comes in when India needs 80/90 of the 10 last overs. He scores a blazing 40 or 50 and wins India the match. He has done it numerous time for India. He is not a middle order batsman who will build an innings. Thats why he is not a Test player as well. Let him do what he does best...Finish tight games!! LEAVE THE GUY ALONE!!!

  • TSJ07 on October 15, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    ......and Yuvi can bowl more overs. india looks best when specialist batsman comes at no.7 and not Jadeja. Even the last match would have been won by India had no. 7 been occupied by specialist. I just hope selectors and coach are able to smell something fishy here from boss and captain to promote CSK players like Ashwin,Jadeja,Dhoni hemself in test matches and Vijay. it seems Twari's name will be written in golden letters in history who scored a century in the last match he ever played.

  • TSJ07 on October 15, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    This new plan is ridiculous!! India as a team and we as fans will suffer a lot in coming months if Dhoni is not stopped. But who will do it as Srini is back in power and our commentators who have their mouth much closer to our ears are on BCCI payroll. So no hope now from India cricket for at least next couple of years. Ashwin is out of form in shorter format for the last one year,Jadeja is only getting wickets but not scoring runs,Yuvi pushed back to no.5 by a player who is only good enough to make 30-40s and who is full form is still not good enough compared to half in form Sehwag,,Ghambir or Yuvi.Everyone says that Yuvi was dropped coz he was out of form but IMO everyone has forgotten how he massacred Ajmal is one of T20 match to push India to 192 and make it out of reach of Pak.No Raina can do this even in full form.Against better attacks he is sitting duck just like his captain and other CSK player called Jadeja.When we are playing at home then we do not not Jadeja and contiued...

  • on October 15, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Grooming Raina ar 4 may not be a bad idea, but Raina is a good finisher of the game. We need such a player at no 5 or 6. We dont have any player to replace Raina at no. 5. Boys like Jadeja, Irfan, Yusuf are not a good choice to play at no 5 or 6. So its better to have Raina at 5 or 6. The best position for raina is to play at no 6 with Dhoni at no.5. At no.4 we have yuvi. If yuvi is injured or out of form, we have dinesh Karthik who is perfect for that position. We have seen him performing brilliantly at that position in Champion trophy worm up matches. DK didnt got much chances to prove himself in champion trophy as most of the time, our top order batsmen have almost finished the match. In Zimbabwe tour, he batted much down the order to give chances to Rayudu. But today, sadly, Rayudu is in the squad and dinesh karthick is missing!! cruel world!!

  • Haleos on October 15, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    @Valavan - some of the cartoons are from CSK and till Srini is at the helm they will be selected in tests.

  • Haleos on October 15, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Good plan Dhoni. Any plans to have a replacement spinner too? The best one that is your favorite and srini's as well is having a long spell of meritocracy. Any plans to have a back up? Better still play him only in tests.

  • ladycricfan on October 15, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Yuvraj stats:

    No4, 95 matches, average 34

    No5, 88 matches, average 41

    No6, 59 matches, average 36

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Wrong choice. This spot should have gone to some one like Cheteshwar Pujara or grooming Unmukt Chand can also be thought of.

    Somebody should tell Dhoni that, ODI is a 50-Over game and not 20..!

    Secondly if few deliveries goes without nicking, Raina without much thinking plays a flashy shot and that's more dangerous from team's perspective.

    Only good part (if at all it worked) would be that it will be left-right combination with Kohli and that can create a headache for field captain in the context of field placing.

    I am hoping Raina should not end up being Mohd Kaif.

  • Valavan on October 15, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    @GRVJPR, really when did steyn struggle in subcontinent, as raina out of subcontinent. BTW look at team india, do they have any test specialist, the captain himself a walking wicket in alien conditions when it comes to test, so it just seems Kohli should carry 10 passengers away in tests. Probably Kohli should be the next Sachin, but sachin had rahul, laxy, saurav, kumble, harbhajan with him. Kohli have none. doesnt it look more of a cartoon team.

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    If the team management does NOT want to use Yuvi, fully AND optimally, don't include him in the playing XI. Why do you want to frustrate our best ODI player? By giving precedence to every Tom, Dick, & Harry, over him. If you don't like the foreign names, substitute with Kohli (in bowling) and Raina (in batting).

  • pull_shot on October 15, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    @ srinideva Who cares about CSK when we r talking about indian cricket i too csk fan but what others say is right here non performing players of CSK got too much rope in indian cricket i am not saying about present except rohit sharma

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    It will be SHOCKING to see Ishant in tomorrow's line up. And surprising, if Mishra is NOT played in place of Ashwin. These two changes are the bare minimum.

    And use Kohli as a "gamble bowler", in swinging conditions alone.

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    This is an international series between India and Australia. Not a laboratory for experiments !

    Development of players,whatever may be the objective, has to be done outside tournaments.

    I started getting the feeling hat Dhoni goofed in holding back Yuvi & sending Raina. He might have realised his mistake, this is a post facto excuse!

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Wise decision by tean India if Raina had given a better chance he would be the Best Indian Cricketer the Batting passion is great rather batting for self SCORE MORE RAINA OUR BLESSINGS WITH TEAM INDIA

  • thinkgood on October 15, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Yuvraj , just like Sehwag , is a divisive force in the team. Good to keep him in check.

  • Muralirajiv on October 15, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    last 2 matches ashwin and ishant's performance is not upto mark.pls make changes of these 2 people definitely we can succeed rest of matches ahead.

  • Muralirajiv on October 15, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Why can't Dhoni give a chance to amit mishra instead of ashwin and unadkat instead of ishant sharma.If these changes done definitely India succeeds rest of the matches.

  • GRVJPR on October 15, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    The way people are commenting here against Raina is like saying, if Steyn has gone wicket less today on non-south arican wkt he should be thrown out of team. I am saying this becoz if raina is to be judged outside subcontinent then steyn should be judged in subcontinent. Meanwhile its not easy to at 6 in subcontinent, ball turns, grips, bounces. Ponting avgs 20, hussy only 1 test hundred and there are many more examples. SO stop getting jealous of raina and let him play his game.

  • kahvas on October 15, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    @HDG1978: You're absolutely spot on. Dhoni has played a couple of excellent innings in his career (under pressure in second innings). While he may come in and slog 16 in the last over, he carries the game sometimes needlessly till the end. His strategies are so idiotic most of the times, but he is lucky to have great players playing for him. Raina is a match winner, but #4 should be for a player that can play any bowling, like Virat Kohli. Raina is more suited for 6 or 7 after or before Dhoni. Dhoni also seems to support Jadeja too much. Agreed Jadeja is bowling well, but Jadeja is no where an all rounder. Just look at how he bats under pressure. Cant even connect ball and bat. India needs to look at their line ups when they won the world cup. That was because Yuvi and Raina came in at 6 and 7 and still took the game away from the opposition. Imagine if you need 100 runs from the last 10 and Jadeja is at the crease, we dont have a chance

  • GRVJPR on October 15, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    Sometimes criticism is unnecessary. Just yesterday everyone was going after raina. Today's times of india say "What's wrong with India". The way SA is struggling vs pak, who lost to zim last month, why not anyone is asking what's wrong with steyn??

  • on October 15, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    This is easily the stupidest article! Period!!

  • Nampally on October 15, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    It would be lot worthwhile to for India to begin "Project Fast Bowlers". This was the real reason for India losing the ODI #1 to the Aussies, last week. Distracting the focus to the Cricket Fans to irrelevant batting order will not solve the problem. On the other hand facing the problem headlong & dealing with it should be the urgent Need. The fact of the matter is Ishant Sharma, for whatever reason, has been persisted with for far too long. Leaking runs @ 8 to 12 runs/over in short format where economy counts, is unacceptable. Vinay Kumar is another guy who joined Ishant in leaking runs.There are at least half a dozen better economy rate pace bowlers available but India has ignored them. Now is the time to ACT & stop this futile attempts at distracting the focus. Unadkat, Kulkarni, Shukla, ZAK are 4 of many potential replacements. In my opinion Kohli &/or Pujara are the best #4 & India is lucky to have them both + Yuvraj. For heavens sake get Mishra in the XI to tie the OZ in knots!

  • sir_viv on October 15, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Well at least it shows that in the midst of a meaningless series there is some long term planning going on. Good shot that skipper!. By the way, I would have thought the most simple and obvious solution would be to get Pujara in the team. The main issue would be where to play him since Kohli is well entrenched at 3. But given the new changes in the ODI rules which favours the bowlers, Pujara makes a far better bet. This would have been the right time to play him so that by the time 2015 World Cup appears he would have played at least 30 + matches. Anyone agrees? My other backup would be Rahane. Although the current batting line up is very exciting, I see one problem. It is too one dimensional. Most of these guys are fabulous stroke makers on flat tracks. Pujara and Rahane bring an additional dimension of technique and grit whenever the going gets tough. That would make the batting far more versatile.

  • ATIMAYANK on October 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    @sweetspot You keep on making a mockery of yourself. Read the line again: "The first opportunity had come in 2008, when over 13 successive innings in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India". How exactly is that not on subcontinent. He is below average overseas. CSK doenst produce half good players but they instead get to play for India for increasing CSK's brand value. ANd Dhoni has won everything he participated? 8-0 in Australis and England. He hasn't even beaten England in India(lost 2-1) which all previous captains did. He isnt even himself half good to be in Test squad that he is leading. Excellent for ODI's, infact a great player for ODI's.

    Replace Raina with Tiwary And Murali Vijay with Rahane.

  • HDG1978 on October 15, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Does India not need a back-up keeper as MSD is searching for a back-up for Yuvraj at No.4?. Was looking forward to India thrashing Australia in ODIs for a change. But this seems to be a series for experiments for Dhoni instead. Dhoni is daydreaming about a WC win in Aus. Just to add, for all Dhoni's 'greatness' can anyone tell me a match-winnig inns by him in India's T20 World Cup triumph in SA in 2007. Gambhir(75 in SA 2007 and 97 in WC 2011 final) have been conveniently forgotten while showering MSD with unreasonable accolades for his so-called achievements. @ srini, we are India fans, not CSK fans .

  • IndTheBest on October 15, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    I am so surprised to see that no one even mentioned 'Sehwag' at #4. "Fit" Sehwag is better than anyone in the team. Anyway, I feel Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwari and Pujar deserves more chances than Raina! On a given day, best player should be given a role. We should be working on "Project for position#4 in Indian ODI team" not a "Project Raina". NO PLAYER IS BIGGER THAN A TEAM!

  • BeingAnsh on October 15, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    I do not agree with the Strategy here....please do not forget Raina is a match winner as in he can score some very imp...30-40 in the death overs at a very good strike rate (read 125+++)...only 100's not everything...i fear in trying to adjust at no.4 he may lose this ability..which as it is very few players have...its a team game and not a individual sport...at no.4 yuvraj is batting well and see no reason of him not playing in next world cup..as it is 18 months ahead as of now..

  • on October 15, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    I would say its a good move becoz if Raina playes well @ no.4 then India will surely be in a good shape... As far as test is concerned, raina wont make place that easily even if he performs well in ODI's becoz there are players like rahane, rohit who are technically sound and have that temperament to succeed in Test cricket... Im looking forward to see Raina @ no.4 in ODI's as he can be a destructive player from the word go... and talking abt no.6 position if raina plays fine @ no.4 then we have the likes of Karthik and jadeja who can hang around with dhoni to take further.. Also it will be interesting to see if dhoni comes up the order then is there any player who can take that role ?? its a big question mark for which I dont have an answer ...do u guys have it?

  • on October 15, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Plz drop ishant sharma and give chance for.mohit sharma

  • on October 15, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    What if something happens to MS? Is he thinking same way the way he has thought of No 4 for his position as a Wicket Kipper?

  • on October 15, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    If talking about long term Yuvi is the man to rely upon.Raina is at his zenith when the stage is set for him.But inT20s he is suited to 3 or 4

  • Aju.Nair on October 15, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Why cant Dhoni try himself at No.4..not sure how Raina manages short ball outside subcontinent. If Dhoni comes at no.4 Yuvraj can come at 5 and can bat with Dhoni, India's one of the most successful partnership makers, the same thing Dhoni was talking after the t20 against Aus..

  • Temuzin on October 15, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    @jayamohanms: I think you are one of the haters of Jadeja and dont watch and remember any thing which you dont want too. Your question what Jadeja has done can be answered by another two questions. Who was the golden ball winner in Champion's trophy in England? Who was the second most wicket taker in last India Australia test series? Who is currently No.1 ranked bowler in ODI and number 4 allrounder in the world? Who was the most economical bowler in last India -Australia 1st ODI from Indian side? Check the answers to these questions and you will know what Jadeja has done. Cricinfo please publish.

  • on October 15, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    I think main Concern of Dhoni should be opening Pair, Rohit Sharma is not an proper opener

  • on October 15, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    somehow, the pretty Raina has fled and a macho Raina has emerged, spoiling his beautiful and natural game! He needs to rediscover his natural shape that he possessed as a youngster. Please watch the Innings of Raina as a youngster vs Zimbabwe. His 80 odd is a masterpiece!

  • on October 15, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Raina at No.4, What a Joke! A player who cannot play short ball and Dhoni want him to be groomed for Aus world cup. Raina at best is a good finisher and he should bat at 6 or 7 position and Jadeja can come up the order. Moreover, Pujara and Rahne are technically sound and with yuvraj in the squad we have too many flashy player in the ODI which is not good. At 4 position we should have a player who can stabilize the innings if 2 or 3 wickets fall early.

  • TRAM on October 15, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    I want Samson in the India team. Dhawan + Samson would be explosive opening pair. If they settle down now, it would be good for WC2015. Let all others compete for #3-7 positions. Rohit, Kholi, Raina, Yuvi, DKarthik, Pujara, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja, Rayudu, Mukund, etc etc.

  • on October 15, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    a guy who doesnt have any clue about short pitched bowling how could he bat at no 4, espically in aussie conditions. tomorrow dhoni will say that raina will bat 4 even in test matches how could he justify what he is saying in odi best pic at the moment is yuvi. and in test you may try rayudu or rahane who have the temprament and technique. gambhir should replace vijay in test matches and i dont see shewag's future in the team as a middle order player he should regain his form and open the innings. its close to 6 years since ganguly's retirement and we have got kholi just a few months back and still vvs,dravid and srt to be replaced i cant understand how do our media just ask this players to retire only after one bad series. dravid played well in england and just 1 bad series you want him to retire

  • Temuzin on October 15, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Guys, how hard it is to understand that Dhoni is experimenting with playing positions within the players selected for ODI team. And Raina is selected in the team, not Rayadu, not Tiwari, not Karthik, not x and not y. Dhoni is playing with the team selected by selectors. So we should understand the logic behind him grooming selected players at different position and I think thats a brilliant move.

  • CricketFan1113 on October 15, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Dhoni wants to give someone the experience to play at No.4 in this playing XI other than Yuvi . . Thats it!! . . And Raina is the best option available for him. If Dhoni wants Raina to make into the Test side, he alone cant do it. Raina need to come with some good performances for that

  • Playfair on October 15, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    So whats happens to likes of Rayudu, Karthik ... it appears CSK has alot to do with these selections

  • on October 15, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    mr.dhoni instread of raina why dnt you try dinesh karthik?he has proved in ipl too

  • on October 15, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    He's going to fail outside the subcontinent! Yuvraj is the best man for this position.

  • on October 15, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    Best option for No 4 would be Manoj Tiwary. (If he is fit though).. He can construct an innings as well as accelerate towards the end..

  • on October 15, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    And he's fro chenai!!! no brainer

  • kiddrock on October 15, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    The other side to this is that it would present the opportunity for Dhoni (No.6) to bat with Yuvi (No. 5) more often than not; and as he claimed after the only T20 against Aus (and proven by numbers), MSD tends to build more match-winning partnerships with Yuvi than any other pair. Now with the opportunity for Raina to focus on his new role, there is no reason why such talent cannot adapt.

  • CricketFan1113 on October 15, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    The reason for giving Raina the opportunity to play at No.4 is that Dhoni wants to experiment within the playing XI. Now dont say why Raina? Why not Dhoni? Why not Rohit? Because Dhoni sees himself as a finisher and no one can do that role better than him. And Rohit has failed miserably in the middle order but somehow he managed to do well as a opener. Also, by giving Raina the chance to play at No.4 in this series doesn't mean he will play in the same position for World Cup instead of Yuvi.

  • ladycricfan on October 15, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Not only Dhoni, every captain has his own favourite players. Captains prefer certain players over others because their style of play suits the captains style and strategy. Even Ganguly said so. Dhoni values fielding a lot. Even when ishant goes for runs Dhoni persists with ishant. ishant has attributes other bowlers don't have. He is tall. He extracts bounce. He has good bouncer and slower ball. He is a wicket taking bowler. Remember the 18th over bowled by ishant in the CT. That two wickets won the trophy for india.

  • on October 15, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Is Dhoni trying to bring Raina into Test squad? We all know No.4 spot is going to be empty after 2 test matches. #justsaying

  • Sushant_H on October 15, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Although Dhoni's idea & logic of sending Raina to bat at No. 4 in ODI's seems a well- thought-out & smart move on paper, but personally i don't think it would work in practice, considering it is being done with the World Cup '15 in sight, which will be held in Oz & NZ. Australia's tactics towards the Indian batsmen for the current ODI series is clear from the 1st match- Bounce Them Out! & when they can employ such a tactic successfully in Indian conditions (that too on a slow pitch like in Pune), there's every reason they (& almost every other team) will do the same on bouncier pitches in 2015. And hence, Raina (who is susceptible against the rising ball) would be better off at either No. 5 or 6. As for replacements for Yuvraj at No. 4, there is a suitable candidate sitting in the dressing room itself- Ambati Rayudu. Also, if u are keeping the WC '15 in mind, then u MUST consider good players of bounce, such as Pujara or Rahane. Dhoni at No. 4 will also not be a bad option.

  • bdsmaruf on October 15, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    raina deserve it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • cricketIND on October 15, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    there r pros n cons in this decision. raina is talented for quick runs but is he good for playing long innings n can he play against the swinging and bouncing balls in aus/nz. i doubt that pujara is more suitable for that place than raina. if yuvi, raina, shikar, rohith n kholi is playing in the same 11 i think there is no place for jadeja in team ind. as in aus/nz we need 3 medium/fast bowlers n one specialist spinner (not ashwin) n a medium pace all-rounder will be more effective than jadeja. eg i.pathan.

  • on October 15, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    raina and yuvraj - both flat track bullies overhyphed up as match winners.

  • ashis022 on October 15, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Dhoni is always pro CSK..

  • Captain_Crick on October 15, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Is Pujara part of 2015 world cup plans? If he's not, then India is missing the trick. Also Mishra deserves a chance now in this series. Ishanth has been given a long run without much promise. Pick the right talent now and groom them.

  • BustIPL on October 15, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    India had lost dhawan cheaply and dhoni had to compensate for that. On the other hand he wanted to keep yuvraj in tact who is in wonderful form. Raina did it all right by giving 60 odd runs partnership (with good strike rate) but it was kohli who got stuck playing misbah like innings. It built pressure on raina and later on yuvi succumbed to it as well. It seems to be more an after thought or after shock that dhoni aired raina experimentation. In reality it was a decision taken given the match situation and should not be persisted with otherwise no one will be able to stop slide in ODI ranking. Also, dhoni has a clear agenda against yuvi.

  • the_sport on October 15, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Such tactics are difficult to understand for me. In a previous TEST series India gave chance to Raina & Vijay when India were on tour to WI, but they both failed miserably. As per my opinion, we should HAD atleast one very experienced player at the top, like Wasim Jaffer for WI tour. It was a chance in test match for Raina and now in one days. Kohli has come later on but already took over Raina's Avg, Nr of 100s and close to #50s. We have replacement for No.4 except Raina. We have players like Dinesh Kartik, Rahane who have already got international exposure. Dinesh has to give more fight and need to give some fine performances. Rahane is well capable of playing at any position from Nr1 to Nr4. I am not sure how long Rohit can play as opener, so Gauti is a better option for 2015 World cup or Rahane at top with Dhawan and Rohit at Nr4. We have many options without considering Raina. So what Dhoni is suggesting 'Project Raina' is actually not any 'Strategy in Cricket' but more personal.

  • ladycricfan on October 15, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Kohli is the best candidate for no 4. If the need arises Kohli will effortlessly fit in at no 4. Anyway who are we to advise Dhoni. His instincts have done wonders to team india.

  • spinkingKK on October 15, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    If everybody who bats at No.4 has to bat a certain way, then we will see no changes. If everybody followed Gavaskar's and Boycott's approach as an opener, we wouldn't have witnessed the likes of Srikanth, Sehwag and Gavaskar of late. Rahul Dravid was a No.3 and so was Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara. They all had different approaches. All successful. Laxman would have been a No.3 of a completely different kind if given a longer run and given the freedom. But, Indian captains wanted him to emulate Dravid at that position and he generally failed. By the way, if No.4 is the most important position, is No.5 not so important? Every positions are important and they all have to play very well to win a match.

  • Arrow011 on October 15, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    Raina is an asset, he is also the world's best fielder along with Steve smith of Australia.

  • wrenx on October 15, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    All well and good having a developmental strategy in the team, but Raina is a veteran of nearly 200 ODIs, he shouldn't need more development. Can't shake the tag that he's only in the side for being Dhoni's mate, and he's a proven flop in test cricket

  • srinideva on October 15, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Oh!!! look at the comments here..All of them jealous of CSK..I`m feeling so cool when reading these comments. Dhoni is the man who took the Indian cricket to the new level. I`m quite amused to see these many haters in india for CSK and Dhoni. may be they are die hard fans of sachin and saurav who don`t like their heroes sidelined by MSD. thank you guys for hating. Keep doing it..BTW, this is national team related article, so you guys better wait for other forums to bash CSK and its captain cool.

  • on October 15, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    pujara,rahane, ambati rayudu, saurabh tiwari,dinesh karthik... lots of players available who are more suited at no.4.. why raina getting this many opportunities ??

  • Cric_god_Sachin on October 15, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    A very well written article. It makes perfect sense for Raina to get some exposure at 2nd drop (No. 4). Dhoni sure has a BIG game plan for 2015.

  • ladycricfan on October 15, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    After the advent of T20 the dynamics of odi has changed. There are more hitters now and accumulators are few and far between. Apart from Kohli who is versatile all others are big hitters in the Indian team. You need someone like pujara to steady the innings in case of a collapse. Pujara's list A average is 54. You can't brand him as a test only player. May be his not so athletic fielding with his dodgy knee might be a factor. Raina is good at 3 in t20 but his style suits better lower down the order in the ODIs at 5 or 6.

  • 1982Vinu on October 15, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    My Team

    1) Rahane/Rohit 2) Shikhar Dhavan/Gambir 3)Virat Kohli 4)Sanju Samson/Suresh Raina 5)Yuvaraj 6)Dhoni 7)Jadeja/Rasool 8)Bhuvi 9)Aswin/Misra/Chawla 10)Pravin Kumar/Vinay Kumar 11)Zak/ Yadav/ M Sharma

  • 36yearsofexperience on October 15, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Raina is not going to work in Australia. He can not play short pitch ball, period.

  • on October 15, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Not sure why so much Raina and Dhoni bashing going on here. Just because India lost 1st ODI?. Give Raina a break, he has 27 ODI fifties and avg of 36 with strike rate of 91, that too playing at no 5 and 6. Any player will walk into any ODI team with those stats.

    And suggest anything to MSD. he is most qualified man to make decisions about cricket (on field) at this moment. So just cut the crap.

  • sreehk on October 15, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    We have heard rotation policy in selection. But it is foolish to hear rotation for batting positions. At the outset it sounds a good move. However if you dig deeper it feels a shallow idea with no real stuff. If you are looking for a solid number 4 then Pujara is the guy who has the technique and suits the Aus and NZ pitches. Raina's failure is too well documented in such conditions. This all seems to divert the attention and giving an extension chord to Raina. Nothing else. Same was done for Rohit from 5 to opening position. Did not yield a great result. Sad that Dhoni favors his faction over merit. This also sounds like adding pressure on Yuvraj, with whom Dhoni is never secure in the team. If at all Dhoni and team management wants to do something it is in bowling. Batsmen at this level come selected for certain positions. However here players are selected and then use an international place for deciding a slot! Pathetic!!

  • CricketMaan on October 15, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Gr8 there are plans for batting order, and to read between lines, 'As there is no point in beefing up our incapable bowling attack, we need to strengthen our batting to compensate for any rubbish bowling we do'

  • VPSrivastava on October 15, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Must bring Pujara either for an opening slot or at No 3 where Dravid had batted in past, give some serenity and stability in batting order amidst slam-bang players who can only play aggressively. Secondly Pujara can play long innings, can block one end and our stroke players then can play their natural game around him. Being dubbed only Test player gives him very limited opportunity to hone his skill against best of attack as regularly as it to be required as there are less and less Test matches played now days.

  • srinideva on October 15, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Raina (27) is good for future than Yuvraj (31 or 32). So there is chance for Raina to make a comeback into Test team. He is not perfect for Test team so does majority of the international players in the world. He can rectify the flaws in his technique and comeback strongly in longer format..After all he does well in limited overs cricket for india and can do that in Test too...If the long failure Rohit getting the chance in indian team for nothing, why not Raina in Test level...U must give chance to someone before taking any decision..

  • srinideva on October 15, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Whatever dhoni said in the media is need not be the reason for the decision he take for the betterment of team. Dhoni himself set high standard by dropping himself in the lower order in Indian team. If he comes @ no.4, he could have scored more centuries than other indian players in the team. My fellow Indian fans bashing dhoni for de promoting the yuvi from his present slot No.4...BTW yuvraj is never a consistent player. He often scores in patches just like the WC 2011..Before and after that he was out of order in international cricket...So don`t go over biased in your view..

  • 36yearsofexperience on October 15, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    we need replacement for Shikhar Dhawan as well. With his technique he can not play both forms for more than 2 years. in legside his wrist does not rotate, and in off side he is not as silky as Saurav. Opponents will figure him out quickly.

  • Aaranya on October 15, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    I afraid that this will backfire and at the end of the day, we will just have confused Raina who will become good neither at number 6 nor at number 4.

    Better to give that slot to DK who can handle pace bowling better than many. He can be the effective back up for Yuvaraj as well asfor Dhoni, the wicket keeper.

  • HDG1978 on October 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    I fully agree with rk0007 about Dhon's partisan attitude. Raina is not Test class. India should look at Pujara as its No.3 in Tests and Kohli at No.4. Raina after the myriad chances that he has been given at Test level clearly does not deserve a place in India's Test XI (post Tendulkar) on his current form. to be honest, Raina/ Rohit are IPL players who serve their franchises better than India

  • HDG1978 on October 15, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    A bad move to say the least. When you look at Raina jumping at the bouncing ball awkwardly, one can sense that this guy should not be part of India's 2015 WC squad. But sadly Raina is a CSK player that has the backing of MSD and the powers-that be in the BCCI and will go to Australia. I sincerely hope that some high quality chin music prior to that tour or in the WC will bring the curtains down on Raina' career soon. One can clearly sense that with SRT's retirement now, Dhoni's focus will now be on ensuring that guys senior to him in the Indian team (Sehwag, Bhajji, Gambhir, Yuvi, Zak) are unable to find their place back into the Indian team. While backing younsters is laudable, a correct blend of youth and experience is required if India are to retain the WC on foreign shores, which seems unlikely though. Unadkat, Mishra, Mohit, Rahane deserve to be given opportunities while Ishant and Ashwin need to rested for them to recharge themselves and regain their spots in the Indian team.

  • vishwa_a on October 15, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    As long as Vinay Kumar is is team, we need to score 400 runs in every match. I hope, someone in BCCI begins a project to clean up such bowlers from Indian side.

  • on October 15, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Agree with Abhinav Aeron and ravi_hari, Raina is not as good as Pujara / Rahane / Rayudu against short stuff, and why pick a team which can't compete in all conditions?

    Great captain as he is, Dhoni seems to need certain players for comfort/security like Raina, Jadeja, Ashwin. This #4 gimmick is only a way of providing Raina a new lease of life. Yes, Raina is good, but there are better players who've had fewer chances.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on October 15, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    well, this can be a bad plan, what any plan is better than no plan. Raina, whatever his limitations in longer formats, is still a very good player in limited overs format. And if he has expressed his desire to play at #4, he deserve his chance. His failure at #4 is not going to cost much to us, may be few ODI games. And its not that we lost this match with experimentation on Raina, it was simple fact that Aus played better cricket and on top of that we bowled really shabbily. On side note, I think if we are planning for 2015 Aus, we need to fit Pujara in scheme of things somewhere. And we also need a fast (ok, thats not what we can do, but medium fast, make more sense?) bowling all-rounder desperately. Irfan and Abhishek Nayar are only one we can look up to right now. Nayar too deserve his second chance. May be he too, like Dhawan finds his mojo on second coming.

  • Philippe on October 15, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    that is total foolishness. Raina can't be competitive apart from while playing in IPL. Dhoni has put too much favoritism in Indian team. thats his bad part.

  • on October 15, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    why dhoni does nt promote himself at that spot, he is kind of player who is suitable more for that position.

  • on October 15, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    Why not MS Dhoni himself bat at No. 4 ? Dhoni need to remember one fact that the WC is in NZ & AUS not in India. Raina can hardly face short stuff in India forget NZ, The biggest question mark for WC 15 is bowling. Look at the current crop. Do they look like WC winners?

  • on October 15, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Surprise that after getting so many chances he is still in the team.....n now they talk of number 4 position...its more suited to the new wall Pujara....its a bad move...we shd not forget Rahane n Manoj Tiwary....what about Saurabh Tiwary ..he came n played few games n got dropped...where is he?

  • on October 15, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    all these yuvis and rainas look gingerly against the moving ball. scoring 50s and 100s on flat indian road-type wickets is no measure of how they will fare in australia during WC 2015.

  • on October 15, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    i love to see team like A rahane s dhawan v kohli r sharma y singh s raina ms dhoni r jadeja r ashwin z khan b kumar j unadkat p kumar m patel

  • CricketFan1113 on October 15, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    My India XI for World Cup 2015

    #1Dhawan #2Rohit #3Kohli #4Raina #5Yuvi #6Dhoni #7Irfan #8Mishra #9Bhuvi #10Zak #11Yadav

    #12Rahane #13Karthick #14Ashwin #15Mohit

    #1 Dhawan is a must

    #2 Rohit if he is still in form. Otherwise i will go with Rahane with Gambhir as replacement #12

    #3 Again Kohli is a must

    #4 #5 & #6 Yuvi and Dhoni can promote themselves ahead of Raina if the no of overs bowled is 35+ Left & Right hand combination will come handy there. Karthick is more a backup WK than a backup middle order batsman. However he is the best WK-batsman after Dhoni #13

    #7 I badly want a fit & inform Irfan in the side but i doubt it will happen. So Jadeja or Yusuf or even Rasool whoever in form should take that position

    #8 Bhajji, Ojha and Chawla are healthy contenders for Mishra & Ashwin. We dont want more than 2 spinners (1 as backup #14) in Aus/Nz

    #9 #10 & #11This is the best bowling line-up i can come across with backup #15

    Please give me your suggestions.

  • mayuresh11 on October 15, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    i don't know why amit mishra is not in playing 11 in indian condition. ishantsharma should be doped. bring back harbhajan or some new off spinner. my bowling line up is bhuneshwar, vinay , ashwin, amitmishra drop jadeja and play raidu as we have enough part time bowlers to bolw 10-15 overs in a match. yuvraj-raina-rohit-dhawan(which we had seen bolw in zimbawe).

    rohit-dhawan-kholi-raidu-yuvraj-dhoni-raina-amit-ashwin-bhuvi-vinay should be best playing 11.. ashwin is in the team because there is no other spinner available in the list of players in 3 odi.

  • ravi_hari on October 15, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    A bit too late to comment. However, I feel Dhoni is not looking beyond the existing 11 or 12. Why should you move Raina up when he has proved very useful at No.6. If he plays at 4 who will take his place at 6? Secondly, why is Dhoni not looking at people like Pujara. Rahane, Tiwary, Rayudu, etc for this slot? I agree with him saying Yuvraj is not a guarantee for WC. But does that mean you do not have anyone else? I think Dhoni is creating a case for Raina to be brought back into the test side. Once Sachin retires, No.4 in tests is up for grabs and Dhoni is planning to plot Raina in that slot. If Raina succeeds in ODI he will be picked for tests too. If that happens, god save Indian middle order. I think Dhoni should try and blood youngsters. Dhoni is not helping India by limiting his thinking. We need to build the team for the future and if you do not pick a couple of youngsters like Rahane and Pujara now, you might loose them for ever. Raina should be left alone at 6 as a finisher.

  • RajeshNaik on October 15, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    For all his years in International cricket Suresh Raina is yet to master the art of grafting. It may be a valid excuse that he comes in late and has no time to graft. But a player has to master both grafting and attacking. Yuvraj does it beautifully and has mastered it. Post cancer, how Yuvaraj does one has to wait and see. But at least he knows how to play at no.4. Whenever - as this article has rightly pointed out - Suresh has had the opportunity to graft an innings, he seldom succeeded. Dhoni always comes out with some strange logic (his rotation policy in Australia for openers is the other one I remember). I was under the impression that we have all our batting bases covered for WC and it is the bowling bases which needed attention. Dhoni, always thinks out of the box and his logic always seems to work. Hope this move ends up helping India, Raina and Yuvaraj.

  • QingdaoXI on October 15, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Team For World cuq in Aus and NZ should be Dhoni, Rohit, Dhawan, Rahane, Virat, ,Yuvraj, Raina, Jadeja, Harbhajan, Zaheer, ishwar, Bhuvi, Umesh, Aaron, Mishra

  • on October 15, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Raina has tactics to play for T20 not for fifty over version. so bring in somebody like yusuf pathan who can strengthen the batting and bowl some good slog overs. In the longer version no 4 is an important slot and making runs like a pinch hitter like pathan is useful for wc2015.

  • agniupadhyay on October 15, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Has there been any article written on ESPNCricinfo analysing the role of Raina in the Indian ODI XI, or is it Srini-fear? No comment on selection policy? He has been a stark mediocrity for the last three years. He doesn't look organized, and does not possess the technique or temperament to win matches for the team. How is he a more certain pick than Yuvraj? On what basis Dhoni and even the media is hell-bent on seeing him go to Australia? Someone like Cheteshwar Pujara is being ignored or being harshly evaluated. Pujara is a must if the Australian pitches and conditions are kept in mind---World Cup 2015. Raina is one of the manifestations of a deeper sickness in Indian cricket. Authoritarianism, cavalier commercialism. If there is silence about Raina, it is malicious or callous rather than golden.

  • Rajnish_aggarwal on October 15, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in grooming Raina for No. 4 in ODI. That may lead to his being tried at No. 4 in test matches too, the coveted place going to be vacated by Sachin. India should not handover No. 4 in test matches to a failing Sehwag free of cost. Raina must overcome this weakness or as otherwise India can call best batsman in the country, Pujara at No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4. Ideally, Kohli fits at No 4 the best in any format. Johnson is back with top speed of 155 Kmph. India will be forced to induct Pujara in ODI. After all, next world cup is to be played in Australia. Pujara is back in form with triple hundred with high strike rate against West Indies A on a bouncy Hubli track. India should drop one bowler and bring in Pujara. India can ask Raina and Yuvraj to bowl 5 overs each. India needs to bring in Misra in place of Ashwin and drop either of B kumar or Ishant Sharma. Infact India should drop both of them and bring in Umesh Yadav.

  • srinideva on October 15, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    @vishal_pintoo, what a logic? Just because sachin batted at no 4 in tests, for that we should give the no 4 in odi's to yuvraj...give me a break friend...this is not a family romantic drama you're talking about? Come up with valid reasons rather than the old sentimental things...

  • -maverick- on October 15, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    I think Rohit Sharma is the right candidate at No.4. Raina is, and always will be a slogger/ finisher. He does not have the composure to construct an innings, unlike Rohit. I'd like to see Pujara get an extended run at opening, and Rohit at No.4. Dhawan to accelerate at the top. Pujara/ Kohli/ Rohit to construct the innings. Yuvraj/Raina/Dhoni to finish it.

  • Sandman5five on October 15, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Why not have Rayudu at No.4? He has shown he has the temperament and the game to anchor an inning. Have Shikhar-Rohit open, Kohli at No.3, Rayudu No.4, Yuvraj and Raina at No.5 & 6 for the power-packed punch, Dhoni at No.7 as a fall-back, followed by Bhuvneshwar, Ashwin, and 2 other bowlers.

  • India2014 on October 15, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    The best no.4 batsmen apart from Yuvraj is Rohit Sharma. Why not try Raina in the opening spot. He is a hitter, he doesn't get bowled out. Mostly he get out by giving a catch in the long field. Powerplay can be better utilized for him. Also Rohit plays short pitch deliveries really well. Please don't bring back Gambhir or Sehwag. Gambhir is a bad fielder, he drops too many catches. Sehwag doesn't have the technique for Australian conditions or in a tricky wicket. Also Gambhir wastes too many deliveries.

  • sachin_vvsfan on October 15, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    What about project Jadeja? Has this been a success? Given that WC happens in AUs and we wont need too many spinners there a batsmen all rounder should fill in that slot not a spinner bowler that too who can only bowl in local coditions

  • on October 15, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    right person no4 ms dhoni

  • on October 15, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    what does that mean? If Raina plays bad from now on and he loses his form then we again have no player at 2nd down? What rubbish logic...

  • KishorKumar25 on October 15, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    What if he fails ? Give chance to Rayudu or Rahane at No.4 or Reshuffle the order again !!!! I dont think Raina will succeed in Australia, lets see..

  • CricketFan1113 on October 15, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    I honestly knew it was coming when Raina scored 277 runs at an average of 92.33 with 4 consecutive half centuries against England and he was the MOS too. I don't think he has problem in handling short deliveries anymore and certainly he can handle the pressure well in case of early wickets. But his shot selection is not up to the mark. He has to rotate the strike in the beginning and save his aggression for the end of the innings.

  • realfan on October 15, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    i will say this again and again... no4 or 5 doesnt mater for UV and Raina... the first ball they face will be aimed at ribs... UV can manage with his height and power hitting... but raina needs to be groomed to either play those or leave those ( he should have learnt by now )..... but instead of any batting order change.... please think of our bowling.....our bowling needs many changes.... there is NO bench strength in bowling to be exact.... i dont know what our bowling coaches, selectors are thinking , but we CANT win every single match with only our batting ,especially in WC15.... we need to have 4 WICKET TAKING BOWLERS.... certailny we have only 2... where are outr other 2????? please groom some PACERS who have REAL PACE... not like vinay and ishant who bowls at 125kmph at good length outside off stump....bring back umesh yadhav... grroom unadkat to be death overs bowler( he got some good variations , left hander will help ) mohit and ishwar pandey in reserves....

  • on October 15, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    India is more worried about batting than bowling. The Indian bowling will be ranked at the bottom without quality bowling we cannot win Test, ODI, T20 and WC no way. The team has given too many opportunities for Ishant Sharma, he is not a bowler and not mention Ashwin he thinks he an intelligent bowling by changing bowling action by pausing, it simply a dumb think to do.

  • realfan on October 15, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    @Jay Dee : ha ha that made me laugh my heart out.... UV play at 3 , then where will kohli play?? and u want sehwag and gambir back??? too bad they are finding it difficult even in domestic level...

  • Coolaaary on October 15, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    I think Rohit sharma is best for the place of 4 after YUVI... he build the innings well and we can see it in recent series. I want to check Rohit to bat at 4 if Dhoni is looking for a replacement for YUVI. Rohit is wasted at opening i think rahane will be good for opening. As per my view Raina is not suited for the place of 4 in ODI he is just a good t20 player.i m looking forward for the next IPL bidding and want to see CSK spilt and raina and Dhoni in differnt teams.

    if its happend i m sure its hard for RAINA even to find a place in playing 11 in ODIs.

    i m really dont know why Dhoni want rahane in team? always stick with his CSK team mates. i want to see TAMBE in indian team to see how he perform aginst a international team.

  • CricketFan1113 on October 15, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    I doubt Pujara is a good choice for ODI but certainly he is the best Indian batsman in TEST. The reason being he cant shift gear once settled like Kohli as 300 runs are easily scored in ODI nowadays. While chasing a huge target, i doubt he will be a liability for the team. But i may be wrong.

  • on October 15, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    yuvi should be at No.4 if india have to win one day series and keep title No.1

  • on October 15, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Dear Dhoni: Please allow Yuvi to settle down in one fixed slot. That is the minimum help you can & should give him. Let him have as many games as possible at No#4, in different situations, before the next World Cup. There is no need to develop a substitute; especially when Yuvi is brimming with confidence. Don't disrupt his smooth re-entry.

    If an exigency arises for a substitute, Dhoni himself can fill in that role, in a jiffy.

    There are far more important issues to be tackled, than dreaming up the eventuality of Yuvi getting injured (?), and start preparing a substitute, NOW. Nonsense.

    One reader correctly mentioned that we have just Bhuvi for swing & Jadeja for spin, with some comfort level. None of the other bowlers give us the confidence, as yet! That is far more urgent, than training Raina for No.# 4.

    Also, we need to prepare the Pune kind of pitches at the NCA, and get the batsmen practice batting against pace & swing -- all batsmen. Not just Raina alone.

    Prioritise!

  • cnksnk on October 15, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Dhoni is being pragmatic here. He realises that with he kind of bowling, especially fast bowling, India is always likely to chase 280 + or may be upwards of 300 is most matches. This is not likely to change. Hence he is trying to strenghten the batting. Giving Raina a run is not a bad idea. If he does not succeed by say March, by the Asia cup, then there is still time to make changes. We must wait and watch to see if this experiment succeeds. Dhoni is talking only about ODI. As far as tests are concerned Pujara at 3 and Kholi at 4 are more or less finalised for the SA and NZ tour. No 5 is still open and this will be a toss up between Yuvi and Rohit. This is the time for experiments to get the core of the team in place. To say Raina is being chosen because of the CSK angle is balderdash. I suspect Mohit will ebs chosen for the ODI 4 - 7. He is also from CSK and I can already hear folks citing prejudice....

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    this is totally wrong thought.yuvraj should bat on no. 3.raina has had enough chances and apparently he can't play long innings and plz get sehwag and gambheer back as they are the best openers together

  • AnoopMukundan on October 15, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    On a funny side, I wonder what'll happen if Yuvi is indeed playing at No.4 in 2015 WC. Yuvi, at No.4 will be going after the bowling as he too was adjusting his game to become a slogger through these years. Chances are that he'll play a mistimed heave and will be getting out early. Raina who has unlearned and adjusted his aggression, who is a saint by then, will be walking out at No.5 to consolidate. So in effect Yuvi's wicket gets wasted (rather than Raina's). Every coin has two sides after all :D

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Raina I am sure is not a very good batsman in the longer version of the game nor is Yuvraj. But Raina needs to be groomed and coached for the 2015 World Cup. I used the word coached as he is obviously very poor in handling the balls aimed at his rib cage. He looks away when the short ball is aimed at him which is a sign that he does not like to face it. Yuvraj despite getting the man of the series in the last World Cup is not very confident against the shorter ball. Often he gets foxed by the slower one. Against world class off spinners he is a lame duck. If he can overcome his shortcomings he will be valuable at No.5 atleast till 2015 World Cup.However both should concentrate in the shorter version.

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    INstead give Rohit a chance at 4 and play Pujara or Rahane as opener..

  • vishal_pintoo on October 15, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Yuvraj Singhi is a perfect choice. He must be emotional with that number as well because his role model was used to play at that number. I remember the way he cried after winning the world cup hugging the little master. Both are attached with each other and yuvi has a lot of respect for Sachin Tendulkar. Yuvraj is technically most correct batsman at present in the team and is a very very potent attacking player. He should be given chance to play at number 4 before any player. And in the tests it should be long awaited Rohit sharma at that number. I feel sad for him who hasnt played yet in the tests.

  • India2014 on October 15, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Yuvraj is better than Raina any day. The issue is not with your no.4 batsmen Dhoni sir, issue is with your bowlers. batsmen has done well. Dhawan is the one, who is not being on runs. If you take Yuvraj out of this team for the World cup 2014, that is the worst decision taken in his carrier. Bring back Zaheer khan and Praveen kumar, replace Ishant with Unadkat or Mohit or Shami. Also try Amit Mishra or Rasool instead of Ashwin in the ODI's. Batting is not the problem. Another problem is generally Indians are not playing short pitch deliverirs wee, except may be Sachin and Rohit. Please get that sorted out, instead of trying these things. Practice on the shorty pitch deliveries.

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Rohit is the right choice for no:4 . Try to open with gamber don't change the place of yuvi what he like.. Because he is the right person our team.. Don't disturb our yuvi pls ...

  • sweetspot on October 15, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    There are some hilarious references to "Conflict of Interest", a term that has endeared itself to many Indian cricket fans, to be pulled out whenever they don't like something! How exactly does Dhoni benefit by selecting CSK players to play for India? Don't his interests benefit greatly by simply picking the team to win the maximum number of tournaments? Would he lose captaincy of CSK if he didn't pick CSK players for India? In any case, Raina is already a permanent member of the Indian team. This is just strategy with a view to the future. Of course, the most successful captain and the best in the business as acknowledged by all the greats all over the world, would be little more than a cunning schemer! In fact, that's how he probably wins?

  • mayuresh11 on October 15, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    rohit is good batsman of shortpich balls and full length. we had seen in the match that he can hok and pull well than any other indian batsman in opening position. the only problem in rohit is that he is not able to convert good starts of 30-40 to 50-75-100. and i think we are accepting more from him like we do from sachin. in every match no 1 can score 50-100 and i dont think in all the current player list he is one of the best player to play all kinds of shorts and far better player of short pitch ball.

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    Dhoni wants whole CSK team drafted into the Team India......Raina is good only for CSK and not India. His weakness to short deliveries will again be exposed. let him try him at #4 or #3 or he can open with Raina but he is not going to success in one dayers.

  • Jeysamuel on October 15, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    It is good to give an opportunity to Raina at No 4. But by having WC2015 in mind we need to have Pujara at N0 4.

    Also it is good to replace Rohit with Rahane to open the innings. Rohit plays well in IPL/CL but he haven't done anything good for Indian team with more than 100 ODI in his name.

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    I think Raina needs the exposure of batting at no. 4 against the top sides. Then his game will grow. He has a weakness against the fast rising short balls which can only be cured by match experience. He should also play a few Tests in the meantime to work on his strategy and technical shortcomings. He can certainly be the most reliable no. 4 for India over the next 8-10 years.

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    Doesnt matter, both are flat track bullies..

  • Aashir.B on October 15, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Bring in Rahane or bring back Gambhir to open and let Rohit bat at No.4. and Please Drop Jadeja!!! Yuvi and Raina can share the 5th bowler quota...

  • Harriya on October 15, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    OK Good thing dat giving a fair chance to a talented player, actually i praise a thing about Mr. Dhoni that "He Knows well who is needed where and how to use smartly the available resources" , as also we cant drop Raina without giving some chances , after all he was d part of the last worldcup

  • sweetspot on October 15, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    @ATIMAYANK - the author answers your question about overseas performance rather nicely - "So for the second time in his eight-year international career, Raina will get another sustained run up the order. The first opportunity had come in 2008, when over 13 successive innings in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India, he produced one century and four fifties at an average of nearly 40. " Too bad CSK produces good players?

  • on October 15, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    going by his worries, He should be thinking for a back-up for no.1 position as well. I mean bring in Rahane or pujara and give them a ample run at the opening position. and then If raina occupies no.4, He should find a suitable one to replace him at no.6.

  • sweetspot on October 15, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    @ATIMAYANK - So who would you select for this position that has an awesome overseas record, without having to play well in India, but has to be an experienced campaigner? If Dhoni was plumping for CSK players, Badrinath would be in the Test team before any of the others. Vijay has done great hasn't he? Maybe you know better than the captain who has won everything he has competed in?

  • dhiwa_sun on October 15, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Giving chance till world cup 2015 is a bad idea. What about the batsmen Rahane, Sehwag, Gambir, Pujara and still Rayadu is in the team. Bring back anyone of them for opening batsmen position and make Rohit as No.4 which is favorite position. Get rid of Ashwin because we have more allrounders.

  • Cricket_is_my_dream on October 15, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    And why he is behind yuvi and so concerned about no 4 position. If he is thinking about 2015 world cup, he should be concerned about opening position (Rohit), spinner position (ashwin), and all rounder (jadeja) position.. because the current position holders are so so so bad.. try to get back up for those Mr Dhoni.. yuvi is always the best.. better than you..

  • CricketFan1113 on October 15, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    To all the people who asks why Dhoni himself cant play at No.4, its because Dhoni doesn't play at a specific position like other batsmen in the team. He generally bats between 4 to 6 and comes after the 35th over only. He sees himself as a finisher and he is the best finisher in our side, probably in the world itself. The next best finishers Raina & Yuvi is no where near to him.

  • ATIMAYANK on October 15, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    @Mayank Thakkar well said. Couldnt have put ut better. Conflict of Interest sums it all up ;)

  • on October 15, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Understand the strategy with Raina at no.4, but maybe the right person to bat at No.4 for India is netiher Raina or Yuvraj, its Rayadu.

  • ATIMAYANK on October 15, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    @sweetspot you said it yourself. Raina is a top run getter in IPL, i.e Indian pitches. Still pathetic overseas. And hey, next world cup isnt in India, so its ridiculously unfair on Yuvraj. And FYI had Yuvraj been in CSK he would have got the preference. As always Dhoni shows his inclination towrads from CSK. Joginder Sharma, Sudeep Tyagi, MS Gony, Parthiv, Saha, Vijay, Mohit Sharma and many more.. all useless players from CSK who got a chance to play for India. :|

  • Cricket_is_my_dream on October 15, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Totally disagree with Dhoni.. Dhoni is playing with the players whom he likes, not according to talent.. I still dont understand what Rohit, Ashwin, Jadeja doing in Indian ODI team.. Rohit should be replaced with Rahane or someone else.. He knows to play well only on IPLs.. Its enough of Ashwin, nothing in his bowling.. should give chances to more talented players like sanju samson, binny, rishi dhawan etc.. And yuvi should bat at No 4, and he is a better bowler than ashwin or jadeja

  • himanshu.team on October 15, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    I like the idea, though it all depends on Raina to capitalize. Frankly speaking I think Raina has had a lot of chances to prove that he can build a long innings, play against quality pace or quality spin. However, even now his worthy contributions have only been in batting friendly conditions or against weak bowling attacks. He must utilize this opportunity to cement his place as a no.4. Yuvi is great in this position. He allows himself to get going. That is different from just blocking initially and going mad later on. Kohli and Yuvi are best role models to learn on how to build and pace an ODI innings. Raina has to look at these two and learn their methods.

  • on October 15, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    I don't think Raina will succeed in No. 4. Because No. 4 batsmen need patience and aggression both equally. I don't think Raina is having both equally. Dhoni can try him at No -3. Three are good opportunity to succeed at No 3 because of No. 3 batsmen can be more aggressive and succeed as well.

    I think it would be better to move Virat Kohli to No. 4 and try Raina at No. 3.

  • CricketFan1113 on October 15, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Dhoni is not trying to take away No.4 position from Yuvi. He is grooming Raina there as a backup in case Yuvi is not fit or goes out of form before the world up.

  • on October 15, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Good backup plan for the no.4 slot as per Dhoni! But the question that begs to be asked is why no Rahane, Pujara? Rohit is anyway going to be a part of this team and so why not give him some well-earned rest and try Rahane, Pujara? They already know how to build an innings :)!

  • on October 15, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Agree some what with MSD that india need backup and innovative thinking to concur Australia and New Zealand in WC 2015. For that matter india also need backup for Dhoni ! As a Wicketkeeper / Batsman / Keeper he is to valuable for team ! So try to develop Sanju Samson as Backup Wicketkeeper / Batsman ! We all have seen his talent in recently concluded CLT20 ! Also Dhoni can let Virat / Yuvraj take over ODI captaincy for a year and half ! This will give them valuable experience as Captain ! All said and done, there could be number of reasons behind one move but one can not hide " Conflict of Interest " !!!

  • Former_SJCC on October 15, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Frankly i dont understand the technical reasons behind why raina would be a better number 4. for 2015 in Aus/Nz they are bouncier pitches. raina is not a good player of the short balls and with the bouncier pitches he will not be able to get on top of the ball. yuvi with his height has a better chance of getting on top of the ball and between the 2 of them yuvi is a better puller and hooker. if a back up number 4 really needs to be developed then ravindra jadeja should be tried. he has 3 triple centuries in his first class career which shows that he is willing to put in the tough yards and build an innings which is what a number 4 has to do. moreover raina is a better finisher than jadeja and number 6 could work out well for him. many of jadeja's innings shows that he is getting out playing shots since he has not been able to get in. raina is more of an instinctive player and would survive better in the number 6/7 slot (below dhoni).

  • satishchandar on October 15, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Yuvi would be our No.4 guy over long term.. Remember guys.. Raina being a top order guy for his domestic team played at a unfamiliar no.6 slot for a long long time.. As he is doing the role of finisher for long time, it will be a bit tough for him to come in at 20-3 or 45-4 situations and bail the team out in those situations unless he builds innings on his own.. As forr his current role, he can easily strike it around 150 mark and change balance in last few overs.. Nothing wrong in giving him some time and prepare him for collapse also.. Raina won't be a permanent no.4 player.. In long run, i would still prefer a lineup like the 2011 WC.. Bring in a new no.3 may be Gauti/Rahane/Pujara or anyone.. Retain Virat at 4, Yuvi MSD and Raina.. Share the fifth bowler between Raina, Yuvi, Virat and have either RJ or Ashwin as spinner..

    The experiment of Raina at 4 is a worthy try.. Even if it is short term..

  • realfan on October 15, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    frankly speaking tthere should not be any experiementation done in indian batting... ut is as solid as a rock, except for the opening slot of rohit sharma.... raina may be 170+ matches experience, but he is meant to be played at no5... no 34 will suit him in t20.... well we can bring in rahane for the opening slot... atleast give him a go for this FULL series atleast.....

  • MohammedPadela on October 15, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    I believe that Yuvraj and Raina havent changed their style of batting since they have come to international cricket. Their weaknesses are already known by the opposition team. For example Yuvraj was tested with a short ball in the first ODI (Pune) which went for 6 and then he was continuously tested outside the off stump where he edged one to Haddin. In the same way Raina is tested with a short ball frequently. India needs to appoint a batting specialist like Rahul Dravid who can help these young emerging players like Dhawan, Kohli and help the seniors like Yuvraj and Raina to improve their batting techniques. Indian Batsman will not get subcontinent Pitches in Australia for the 2015 WC.

  • Albert_cambell on October 15, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    The opposition will have an easy wicket at no.4.

  • tanstell87 on October 15, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    Time has come for Dhoni to look beyond Ashwin in ODIs....Jadeja can do Ashwin's job of being number 1 spinner & can take that number 8 spot in ODI team till he retires....Ashwin is useless in ODIs...let him play more tests but no more ODIs for Ashwin & Ishant Sharma..

    My 11 -

    Rahane, Dhawan, Kohli, Pujara, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Yadav, Vinay

  • tanstell87 on October 15, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    instead of Raina, Rahane or Pujara should be projected at number 4....both have good technique compared to hit and miss Raina & in the long run on bouncy wickets of Australia in 2014-2015(tri series Aus-Eng-Ind in Australia 2014-15 & World Cup 2015) both Rahane & Pujara are bound to score more runs as compared to Raina who is best suited for number 7 spot instead of over-rated Ravindra Jadeja...

  • vj3478 on October 15, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    Good theory by Dhoni on pushing Raina to #4 but he definitely is not capable of that role in Australian conditions where we have 2015 world cup (bouncy big grounds so no silly slogging...) Anyways wat about Jadeja's role.. will he be trying any fast bowling-all rounder (Irfaaaaaaan.. plz get fit!!) and no Ishanth in the team plz... Dhoni is one better option for Ishanth (yes, in bowling). Time to give chances to Mohit, Shami, Jaydev and Umesh... may be Praveen Kumar (the bowler who was rated as for ODI only and happened to prove his worth in Tests just to disappear altogether)

  • landl47 on October 15, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    Doesn't the success of Dhoni's plan rest entirely on Raina succeeding at #4? What if he doesn't? Then he's going to be lacking in confidence and practice at batting in any other position. In the meantime, Yuvraj is having to adjust to the different demands of batting lower in the order. What if he fails there? Then you have two out-of-form players. Do you drop them both and bring in replacements, with little time to adjust or gain experience before the World Cup.

    If Yuvraj and Raina are not doing well in their current positions, then by all means shift them around to see if they fare better elsewhere. However, to take players who seem to be currently at the best place for them in the batting order and move them just to gain experience of batting in another position seems to be asking for trouble.

  • realfan on October 15, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    i really dont understand what are the roles of batsmen from no 4 to 7 in ODI.... no123 are there for you to anchor the innings... no123 play for 30 overs.... no4567 take over formt hem till the end.... clearly this should be the message.... and if at all no 4 is to be meant for anchoring some times.... dhoni is the one man for that job.... i found it amusing that he dint realise that....

  • hjshergill on October 15, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Dhoni always favoured CSK players. If Dhoni would be selector,he will play with all CSK players in Indian Team. He is partial for Raina and Ashwin..Ashwin is in bad form but Dhoni still giving him chances again and again..leaving Amit MIshra out.

    We think Dhoni gave us Two World Cups but remember guys the Man of the Tournament in those Two World Cups that India win is Yuvraj Singh. So, it's unfair for Yuvi to send him at no. 5.

  • fkauser on October 15, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    Dhoni is talking about Yuvi's performance till world cup...what guarantee is has that Raina will perform at his best till WC. I never understand what this guy wants....Dream come back from the best finisher and still he is talking something which is not favoring Yuvi.... Even in 1st ODI, after bowling so well dhoni didn't completed Yuvi's bowling quota and he use Jadeja, Vinay and Ishant overs and left Yuvi's bowling quota incomplete........

  • paapam on October 15, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Raina has always been a Dhoni acolyte. Notwithstanding this the approach to groom a no.4 is acceptable BUT not at the cost of the team. When facing a taget of 300+ an in form Yuvraj was the automatic choice for no.4. Experiments can be tried when the series is safely in the bag. Who is Dhoni anyway to offer a free advance ticket, for the 2015 World Cup, to Raina? A lot can happen in 18 months. If Srinivasan gets his just desserts we may see a more transparent selection of the Indian cricket team.

  • ShanNachimuthu on October 15, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    It is totally unnecessary to do these experiments at this stage while Yuvi making a come back. Looks it is deliberate attempt to keep Yuvi unsettled and Dhoni looks like he does not like Yuvi's return. He thinks only now he is having complete control over the team and he don't want loose that because of Yuvi's return. The whole bunch of bowling attack is not up to mark. Instead of focusing on that why he is experimenting batting order. No matter whatever the mighty batting order you have with this bowling attack you can not even qualify for semis in next world cup.

  • yoogi on October 15, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Frankly, Rahane and Pujara should be given enough opportunities at no 4. Infact Pujara belongs to no 3 spot and he deserves it just as much as Tendulkar or Dravid. also, it might seem rude to raina, but he doesnt have a place if Yuvi plays well.

  • jayantsb1 on October 15, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Dhoni doing this for no 4 spot in Test . when Sachin retire their will strong fight for this position, as usual Dhoni want his man on no 4, that's why he sending yuvraj on 5 and Raina on 4th place to build the inning which help raina to prove himself for twst no4 position.

  • on October 15, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    other than Bhuvaneswar kumar and Sir Jedeja,other Indian bowlers are lacking in intent,skill and aggression.Ishanth and Vinay are not suited. India needs to learn how to groom fast bowlers treatment mated out to Varun Arron and Umesh Yadav is not right way to nurture talent.May be Dhoni is worried about keeping these fast bowlers as these guys can break the finger bones.Forget about India defending WC 2015.

  • IndCricFan2013 on October 15, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    I am a Dravid Fan. Like Puraja as well. What ever Dravid scored in ODI is good enough. But I have no problem accepting that Dravid is not made for ODI #3 or #4. Not sure if Pujara would succeed, he can always given a chance. But the point here, if technically sound Dravid is not good enough for ODI #3 or #4, what is that point in keep talking about technically sound, Pujara, etc? Why not Raina? Have we not learned that lesson by moving Dravid down the order in ODI?

  • ProdigyA on October 15, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    Some people are saying that Rohit should be "tried" at no. 4...LOl. That is what he has been doing till 100 ODI's and yet to become a permanent member of the team. He somehow managed to stick in the team by opening.

  • on October 15, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    See Indians are lacking out of bowlers., no matter what the batsmen's position are . Try changing bowling options while u got odd out of runs in 6 overs or 7 overs giving 50 or 60 runs they almost you lost your game , zaheer is d best in death overs his experience lift up the teams bowling strength,there is no doubt in that and jadeja is the bad option in limited over cricket .. Yusuf ll be the best option as an alrounder , drop ishant , vinay ...bring zaheer, back make a strong unit,, when ur oppositions bowling at the rate of150 u should be alert ...

  • realfan on October 15, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    @EnglishCricket : no need to come all the way to this article and bash indian player.... please i request you guys to keep cricinfo clean.... oh by the average of 40+ in odi in england is not bad at all... raina has that....

  • on October 15, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Why can't we consider Rahane at 4? It is not that we do not have alternatives.. We do not want to look for alternatives.

  • on October 15, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    If Raina has to be trained in No.4 slot then why Dhoni did not brought him during Yuvraj absence. Last 2 years somebody else is playing in this slot and now suddenly why this worry came once when Yuvraj came into the team. Also Yuvraj is trying to cement his place and he is making a come back, you should allow Yuvraj to settle. If Yuvraj is moved here and there then finally he will not be given opportunity to perform well then eventually he fails. This is what many people required. The same way how Yusuf Pathan was spoiled when he was in good form by not giving much opportunities. It is all internal politics. The marketing value of Raina need to increase.

  • realfan on October 15, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    i dont understand why dhoni himslef bats so down the order.... he can promote himself to 4 follwed by UV raina.... raina have incredible capability to score in death overs ( bolwers wont dare to try and bowl short pitch ball at the death overs ) dhoni and kohli are excellent players in middle orders... if dhoni and kohli can get the partnership ( both are good at building partnerships ) at least up to 35 overs... uv can chip in with some idea on how much to up the runrate and ending with raina with some slog in death overs.... i cant totally relay on jadeja.... beter play jadeja as bowling alroounder .... and think of players beyond rohit and ishant sharma..... you cant afford to give these two guys this many chances in international arena.... one sensible line up can be ( with the current team ) dhawan, rohit, kohli, dhoni/ uv, UV/dhoni, raina, jadeja, bhuvi, ashwin, unadkat, ishant...

    anyway you are not thinking of dropping ishant ,atleast make him bowl in the inital overs.try onc

  • theRule19 on October 15, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    With Yuvraj back in form and the side, he should not bat at 5 or 6. Raina is a regular no. 5 batsman. Hence to promote Raina up top is really questionable. On the other hand, Jadeja is one player who has not proved his worth in batting when the situation really demands at the Int'l level which is a big negative. He can be tried in Kohli's position. Currently it seems like Dhoni can only experiment with batting position of Kohli and Jadeja. Rest seems to be just ok. But to move Yuvraj down the order is not the right move. He is one batsman who needs time to settle down and once he gets his eye in..He can be devastating till the end of the innings either batting first or chasing. In the bowling department, Ishant seriously is a liability as he is a bowler who just does not outsmart the batsmen and keeps bowling to the batsman's strength. Neither he can field..Ashwin can be given a few chances as he seems to be a thinking bowler.

  • sweetspot on October 15, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    @ATIMAYANK - Raina was not part of the 2007 World T20 India squad. He cannot compete with Yuvraj Singh when he is not part of the squad. In fact, nobody can. In the 2011 WC, Raina played two crucial knocks at his usual position. Yes, quite understandable that Dhoni might pay attention to an important player from a team that has done well in the IPL. Raina is IPL's top run scorer, the only player to get more than 400 in every edition, and the only Indian to score a century in all formats of the game. Who is more qualified for the captain's trust?

  • sachin_paul on October 15, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    Just to clarify Dhoni's comments......is Raina guaranteed a spot in the World Cup squad a good two years before the event even takes place? Tells a lot about the state of Indian cricket doesn't it? Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane must be wondering how a talentless plodder like Raina is already guaranteed a spot in the starting XI (never mind the squad) while they compile innings after innings in domestic cricket only to be ignored by Dhoni

  • on October 15, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    can't handle the short ball and u want him to bat at 4. Dhoni I appreciate ur support for ur CSK teammate.

  • sweetspot on October 15, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    Dhoni is thinking right, yet again.

    Raina is vastly experienced, but batting so low down the order, he cannot be fairly compared with the others. Still the guy has an average of 36 and a strike rate of 91, which has been very helpful for India.

    The good thing about Raina is he won't waste very many deliveries, since he goes at a healthy strike rate of 81 when he scores below 50, while someone like Kohli goes at 68 strike rate before he gets to 50, so if he gets out, it is added pressure.

    All this CSK talk is rubbish. As if Dhoni would compromise his vision for the World Cup to get one player in from CSK! In any case that's exactly what the IPL is supposed to do - unearth talent! Why not from a good IPL team then? If he wanted to protect Raina, he could have kept him at #6, but he is exposing him, challenging him, and giving him an opportunity, perhaps after his good show in South Africa, especially that 135.

    Dhoni is consolidating India's batting riches, make no mistake.

  • on October 15, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    Why cant Dhoni bat up the order??? Having Raina, Yuvi, and Jadeja backup Dhoni can very easily and freely spend some time at the crease.... No wonder he cant...

  • on October 15, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Dhoni supporting CSK Players only.I think he is avoiding Yuvraj singh

  • on October 15, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    India can't defend world cup by having dilly dolly bowlers like Vinay Kumar,Ishanth or predicable one dimensional bowler like Shami. also in the spin dept get Praveen Tambe to squad, in CL20 no body could hit him for six and he intimidated the batsmen. Go back India england one day serie in England,the way Parthiv and Rahane handled short ball was impressive.Problem with indian batsmen in current line up is they are not watching ball from bowlers hand all the time they try to make adjustment after the ball is pitched.Which is okay with a 120km bowler but not when some one is bowling at 135 and above.Why hesitation hook when there is short ball.All these batsmen are told not to try hook shot at all during formative years now it has an effect in the technique. mark my words "India will be out in first round of world cup if they don't realize this now"

  • ultimatewarrior on October 15, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    After reading articles & comments, I found max opinion in favor of forcing changes like pujara/rahane/manoj tiwari at 4th spot, zaheer/irfan-->ishant/vinay and mishra-->ashwin but i am sure dhoni will himself bring the change....as he can't be perfect all the time........i think this is the right time to have some experiments bcoz if not today then when??(dhoni must be giving importance to series results as well) Also cricket lovers have to look beyond failures in 3/4 matches to have a PERFECT TEAM COMPOSITION......please remember this is not a reality show that every popular player can get selected...so guys don't worry and have patience, India will also Win 2015 World Cup under Dhoni (Captain Cool) and Virat(Hot Vice Captain)...

  • realfan on October 15, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    oh man... again batting bating and only batting.... when does the captain and the selectors think of back up to bhuvi and jadeja???? att his time they dont have any.... ishant acts like he is back up for the opposition.... i cant comment on ashwin this earlly, he is going through tough phase now... ashwin have more ability than he is showing.... and i dont even want to speak of vinay kumar.... come on selectors we have so much pace in our hands , why only ishant???? umesh, varun aron, mohit sharma, ishwar pandey, we should even bring back zaheer for the middle overs bowling..... i can thelp it but i think selectors and sharmas are seem to be close relatives.....

  • Al_Bundy1 on October 15, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    India should begin Project Raina at #12. He is perfect for 12th man. Raina has been playing for almost 10 years and he is yet to establish himself. We can can't afford perpetual rookies like Raina and Ishant Sharma. There's no shortage of talent in India. Instead of Raina, try other batsmen like Pujara, Rahane, Juneja, etc. Ishant Sharma is finished. Why are we still playing him?

  • hemal31 on October 15, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Suresh Raina? His career is going to much like M. Kaif's! NoWhere!!! Raina can't even tackle a short pitch deliver which has been his weakness for some time now! It's all good slogging bowlers in the IPL on flat, low indian pitches! Put him in Australia, England and SA and see how long he lasts! Mr. Raina is a great slogger (only in indian pitches) and that's about it!

  • on October 15, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Raina and Yuvraj have almost the same avg and strike rate in ODIs, but in Aus-NZ, Raina has scored a century or two, he hooks & pulls the short bowling without getting scared (doesn't always succeed) whereas Yuvi always fails in Oz or England. But Dhoni's statement is ridiculous. Pujara, Rohit, Dhoni himself, & Manoj Tiwary all look capable of batting at 4.

  • bharatrane on October 15, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    Before looking to our batting, we should first cleanse our bowling of the deadwood, in particular the likes of Ishant Sharma and Vinaykumar, who do not do anything else but bang the ball in without any swin or accuracy and keep on hoping the batsman hits them right into the deep fielders' hands. I cannot understand why we are persisting with Ishant Sharma with his repeated failures while we throw away Dhaval Kulkarni and Jaydev Unadkat with only one or two non-productive outing[s]. Dhoni's diffidence in handing the ball to Ishant in the slog overs, in spite of his poor record and in spite of Yuvraj not having completed his quota is also difficult to understand. Is there some understanding between the powers that be and Sharma & his sponsors/ supporters? Today/s article by Manoj Prabhakar in the Times of India must be given heed and Ishant Sharma thrown out of the team immediately.

  • on October 15, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    Get Rahane instead of Raina..

  • on October 15, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    Well! this is another strategy adapted by MSD, to galvanize the middle order position. It is unfortunate that it had been enjoyed by Yuvi for quite some time. However in the team's interest that Yuvi may be able to cop with this. After all no captain can intentionally bring lesser player in such an important slot. I think the team management should have contemplated many a times with such thought.Simultaneously there should be some changes required in the bowling department, where the team needs some consistency. It is the most vulnerable area that the team often gets some severe and shameful beating. MSD can have one more feather in his cap that with this kind of weak bowling he has managed to get so many trophies.

  • nkoch on October 15, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    And if this fails, they will begin operation grand-mother.. My Grandma at #4. Dhoni clearly favoring his friend here. Raina does not fit in top order. If they want to think long term, Operation Rahane or Pujara should be on the cards. They are technically competent batters. only one of Yuvraj and Raina should really play. Both make batting very brittle. And lucky Shikhar Dhavan will have a reality check this series.

  • IndianEagle on October 15, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    how these guys put their huge bet on pujara? He failed against zim in odi's and yet to play in foreign soil.we would see What kind of myth does pujara hold when ind tour to sa, and also two 'trott'-like batsmen will never help india ie. Rohit and pujara.

  • on October 15, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    I couldn't understand why Rahane is not been given enough chances when rohit sharma was given a hell lot of opportunities to shine.. Rahane is a highly talented and gifted player who can do well at No.4. Also bring back zaheer and irfan. Take out ashwin, vinay and Ishant, three useless bowlers from the squad.

  • Siva_Bala75 on October 15, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    India has successfully achieved a) the no. 1 ODI position b) current champions of both the 2 world level tournaments and last but not the least c) the best sustainable transition from the old guard- the top 6(Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Laxman, Dravid and Ganguly) to the new 6. Most of the credit goes to Dhoni. I will 100% go with Dhoni's assessment and plan.

  • on October 15, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    suresh raina can't play the short ball properly and u want him batting at no 4. Why:is it because he is in the same IPL team as u dhoni. A

  • jasonpete on October 15, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Posted by givenUP on (October 14, 2013, 19:50 GMT), First read and understand what Dhoni trying to say here.Yuvraj is permanent no.4 for World Cup 2015 but if he is not available due to some reason ( fitness n form) ,you can let someone play directly as no.4 batsmen all of a sudden.So they want to try Raina as a backup no.4 batsmen.Its just a trial and error method to test the back up players .If one player who supports Yuvraj Singh in this team,its none other than Dhoni.He was immediately selected in to Indian team when his cancer treatment were over eventhough he was not fully fit.Gambhir and sehwag are out of Indian team due to their poor form for the past three years in all forms of cricket.Yuvraj got dropped for his fitness and he is directly back in to this Indian team as soon as he worked out his fitness issue.Indian fans want all their favorite players to be in this Indian team,but captain can play only 11 players.Rohit is a MI player and he got long rope as much as CSK raina.

  • BravoBravo on October 15, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    IND's problem is making 280+ runs against any average to good teams. It is unfortunate and sad that no other team criticize their bowler shamelessly as IND clout does. If batsmen cant play against a good bowling attack, then what they are good for. The hype about their batsmen is crystal clear, as when they face good bowling, they bite the dust.

  • on October 15, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    I would say india should go with Dhawan,Rohit,Gambhir,Kholi,Yuvraj,Dhoni,Raina,Ashwin,Jadega,Bhuvenswar and Zaheer and Other player should be Irfan Mishra and Pujara

  • ProdigyA on October 15, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Just cant understand why Pujara is not in the team. The guy is scoring tons of runs in domestic, give him a chance for once. A big reason why India lost to Pak in India. Pujara at 3 and Kohli at 4 sounds good.

    Also very disappointed they way Kohli batted. The target was over 300 and he was batting as if he is in a test match. Batted a maiden over when the req. RR was more than 7 or 8.

  • on October 15, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    people please forget pujara! he is unfit to play ODI cricket! if we starts to play ODI then we could loose him as a test player!! and believe me batting position really doesn't matter much in ODI cricket as of now because every Indian batsman could play at different position! what worrying is Indian fast bowling options! looks totally pathetic!

  • on October 15, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    Since Jadeja, Yuvraj, Raina have been bowling lot of overs, India should go with an extra batsmen (Pujara/Rahane/Baba Aparajit) with Bhuvi, 2 of Ashwin/Misra/Yadav/Ishant/Rahul Shukla as the 3 bowlers.

  • on October 15, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    No# 4 need a versatile game. Ideally, initially a "builder" and seamlessly switching over to the role of a "destroyer". Raina is a sure bet to be in the playing XI; but at No#5 or No#6.

    There are many options for a number #4;

    1. Since Yuvi just came back; he should be given an adequately long run to regain full confidence, and smooth and uninterrupted good form,for quite some time. It is too early to disrupt his flow, for developing another.

    2. Pujara is the ideal man, with the best possible game for that slot. He can be both a builder and a destroyer. He knows when to switch the gear. He sees the line & length early. Has the footwork. And the temperament.

    3. Rohit is another choice. He was traditionally a stroke maker. Now he also has learnt to wait, before launching the attacking game. He also has plenty of time, before beore the ball contact.

    4. Dhoni himself has the game to adapt. Doesn't matter matter how his batting "looks" . He is effective.

    So, why Raina?

  • on October 15, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    I don't really understand why mohit was not selected in this series! we need irfan, Umesh and aaron in Australian conditions !

  • TRAM on October 15, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    Some are born for that position (Sehwag #1-2, Dravid #3, Dhawan #1).

    Some achieve to stay in that position (SRT #1/#4, VVS #5-6).

    Some are thrust positions even whether they want it or not and dropped even if they achieve (DKarthik).

    Some get the position they want even if they dont achieve (RSharma, Raina).

  • GrindAR on October 14, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    Yuvi is the kind of guy, who does the right thing at right times... You can say bad luck for India to limit the use of his energy levels.... You kind of loose 2 players if you take Yuvi out. He is the best fielder, bowler and batsman on any given situation. As Dhoni is aware, India need a backup. But may be Raina is not the solution. Unlearning the skills of his usual position is not easy and probably back fire on the strategy. If he goes up to #4, it is kind of awarded, he will get to bowl less in case needed. Contribution wise, both Yuvi and Raina roles are critical at their familiar positions. Really do not understand why the scoring centuries part get into the minds. Is that due to getting a place in test team?

    I do not see it as a good strategy for team India. Finishers and stabilizers are not comparable in any aspect. You talk about aggressive opener.... yeah good to try out... but it need step by step acceleration... I would just ask.... dont take the team backwards.. egoistic

  • Ms.Cricket on October 14, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    Raina is a useful no 5/6. What's wrong with that? Michael Bevan, Steve Waugh, Dhoni himself etc have played match winning roles lower in the order. If the intention is to allow Raina to bloat his statistics, then it is pathetic. Winning should be the only reason why someone plays some role in the team.

  • beaconhill on October 14, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    What about operation find some fast bowlers?

    1 OK fast bowler out of 1 billion or so is pretty poor. Though I must admit I am not familiar with the women's team. Maybe they have a fast (not medium) bowler who can bowl straight?

  • 10Vashi10 on October 14, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    the batting is good, but i think shikar dhawan is to over confident, and rather try out pujara. for the bowling, take out ishant and ashwin, and try mishra whos in form. the best thing to do is to take out all the spinners and bring in 4 top pacers b/c yuvi, jadeja and raina can each bowl...

  • OneEyedAussie on October 14, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    Suresh Raina @ number 4 on fast and bouncy Australian pitches with his pronounced weakness against the short-ball? Yes please!

  • LoveTeamIndia on October 14, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Dhoni always gives many chances to his favorite cricketers. Rohit at opening, Raina at 4, Sir Jadeja as an all-rounder, Ishant as the lead fast bowler, Ashwin as the lead spinner etc. When most of the other 6 and one or two of "Dhoni's boys" do well, team India will be winning and Dhoni will get praised by all. But this is not the right way to build a team for the future. Pujara, who is quite likely to succeed in Australia, should be given at least half the number of chances that Rohit or Raina got. Same with Rahane, Tiwari etc.

  • on October 14, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    india should drop rohit and bring rahane or sanju as opener. let rohit belong at his best in mumbai indians

  • on October 14, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    @Mohd Abid - fully agree with your observations. India's bowlers are serial offenders - they are profligate and death-bowling is a particular concern. Ishant is and has always been brain-dead !! Ashwin should stop his irritating habit of pausing in his bowling stride...and I find it very difficult to rate Vinay Kumar.

  • on October 14, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    I see a potential to be a great finisher of the game in raina and dhawan.dhoni can be much more effective at no 3 if he bats there consistently.birat and rohit can be the most fascinating openings pair in the world.no 4 would be yuvraaj 5 would be dhawan and 6 raina and jadeja role at no 7 would be vital supporting the finishers.

  • eviljairaj on October 14, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    Pujara/Rahane, Dhawan, Kholi, Manoj Tiwari/rayadu, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina, Jadeja/Irfan Pathan, Ashwin/Mishra, Bhuvi, Shami/Udankat/yadav bowling options 1) bhuvi, pathan, Yadav, Ashwin, Tiwari, Raina, Yuvraj 2) Bhuvi, Shami, Udankat, Mishra, Raina, Yuvraj, Jadeja, Kohli 3) Bhuvi, Udankat, Yadav, Mishra, Ashwin, Yuvraj, Raina

  • on October 14, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    I am happy to see Yuvraj at Number 5, I think he is ideally suited for that position. Raina at number 4 is good gamble but he needs to prove he can score more than handy 30-40 runs that he scores. I also think Jadeja/Ashwin should fight for one spot. Mishra is another one when on song can be decent version of Shane Warne. There are tons of offspinners floating around these but most of them get smashed by left handers with no problems be it Ajmal or Ashwin or Bhajji. Ishant may not be good in India but in Australia, his deck bowling may be OK. Umesh should be kept in reserves at all time. We just one more backup maybe Mohit Sharma, Shami or Ishwar Pandey.

  • Ibrarhunzai on October 14, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    If Yuvi was in CSK team, he would never be dropped. If Jadeja was not in CSK, i doubt he might not even have a debut for Indian team.

  • Ibrarhunzai on October 14, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    If India lose this series 7-0, Star Cricket will still telecast that one-off T20, 20 times (atleast). :)

  • Ibrarhunzai on October 14, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Dhoni should bat at number four, youraj at five and raina at six

  • Pritt32 on October 14, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    The Indian team have to learn from their mistakes following a heavy defeat against the Aussies. Firstly, India's bowling attack is abysmal. Australia piled on a huge total. Aussies batmen were taking advantage of the bowling as it was off line. Why are the Indian selectors persisting with I. Sharma and Kumar? It is time to recall Z.Khan to bolster the attack. Ashwin is inconsistent, as he unnecessary experiments too much. Bring on another specialist spin bowler, rather than a pace bowler. India batmen fell like dominoes under a strong Aussie bowling attack. There is fragility against pace bowling. I hope Indian cricket team picks themseleves for the next match by showing character and fighting spirits. Get the bowling right, then the batting will not be under pressure to chase big targets.

  • M@sK_Lanka on October 14, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Sachin should come back, its only another 18 months for WC 2015.If required sachin can bat at No. 4 and win again the world cup as he did in 2011.

  • Temuzin on October 14, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    I think Dhoni should come at number 4 and control the game. Some other batsmen should try to learn the art of finishing at number 6-7

  • Temuzin on October 14, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    @Ravish Kumar: Dhoni knows Yuvi's worth and has full faith in him. Before T20 Dhoni has said a lot about Yuvraj and when yuvraj was scoring sixes and fours, Dhoni kept giving him strike by taking singles. Yuvraj is sure shot and dhoni knows that. He is not sure of Raina and that's why he want to give more chances to Raina to give him experience as a back up of Yuvraj. Its not other way round.

  • Nampally on October 14, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    The Indian batting order for ODI's should be to have the first 4 batsmen who are technically sound in defence with correct footwork & with all round stroking ability. In addition, the role of #4 has always been that of a guy who is unwilling to give his wicket & carry on batting till the end. I can see that talent inherent in Kohli & Pujara. Use these 2 existing guys- arguably best in the world. Converting someone like Raina who is one of the best finishers in the ODI is wrong. I always considered guys like Raina, Dhoni & Yuvraj as the best "Finishers"! Secondly with 2 new balls being used the #4 batsman may have to deal with the New ball as well. Hence Raina will be a misfit on both the counts due to his weakness against good pace bowlers. India's problem really is with the 2 pace bowlers Ishant & Vinay- 124 runs in 16 overs in the last ODI. Two economical fast bowlers to support B.Kumar should be the top priority. Also include Mishra in XI to exploit the OZ weakness Vs. Spinners!

  • on October 14, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    my suggestion is to improve our bowling first..dont go for no.4, 5 position..concentrate fully on bowlings options..i feel itz foolish to speak on batting side when we lost the recent ODI..ishant, vinay caopnt help u at all..when bowling they will gift runs to opposition bowlers aswell like they recently...bring Zak, mohit n irfan..so dont b foolish on batting postions...it will b alright..take out jadeja he cant bat when the team needs..itz a waste of time to show faith on him..plz bring Gambhir n as allrounder pathan brothers are fine...atleast opposition will get scared from yousuf pathan rather than useless jadeja..plz Dhoni wake up now n concentrate on bowling options

  • on October 14, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    #1 Pujara #2 Dhawan #3 Kohli #4 Rohit Sharma #5 Yuvraj #6 Raina #7 Dhoni #8 Jadeja #9 Irfan Pathan/Ashwin/Mishra #10 Zaheer Khan #11 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

    And india needs to drop Ishant Sharma ASAP - the guy's useless bowler. Pick Shami Ahmed or anyone else for that matter.

    And I don't know why Vinay Kumar keeps getting selected either.. he gets smacked all around the park all the time..

    Bring Zaheer Khan back.. drop Ishant Sharma Bring Irfan Pathan in place of Vinay Kumar Bhuvi is perfect And India should use Yuvraj more often in spin bowling

  • on October 14, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    I saw same kind of reaction from many people when Rohit was promoted to open in the innings. And we all know what happened with that move. Who would have thought Rohit would perform as an opener? This is why experimentation is essential for a team when they are on top. When they are in trouble, they can go back to the tried and tested batting order. Until then India should carry out any kind of experimentation possible. To all those people who think Dhoni is doing this because Raina is playing or CSK, what team is Rohit playing for? If Rohit deserves it, raina deserves it too!

  • on October 14, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    dhoni can put himself @ number 4 .. Y.sing is still here...they can bring back A.Rahane in the team and make him ply @ number 3 and make koholi p;ay @ number 4... I do not understand why dhoni does not try Rohit sharma @ number 4 and they have so many good batsman who can Open instead of him. pujara could b one of them...

  • Rahul_78 on October 14, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    This was a first serious exam for India against some searing pace and aggression provided by Aussie quick's and specially Johnson after long time. And Indian batsmen faltered. If anybody listened to Warne in commentary then he wanted Aussie quick's to test India batsmen with quick deliveries aimed at head high around off stump. Dhoni and co will have to quickly come up with a plan to counter this kind of bowling or else they will find themselves playing a catch up game. Also it was very very disappointing to see Ishant and Ashwin bowl. Ishant still hasnt mastered control over his line and length in limited overs and he still hasnt developed a yorker. Ashwin predictably goes for a carrom ball or quicker delivery ones being hit to fence. Both of them are senior bowlers and need to tighen up their game. One wonders what else Mishra needs to do to gain MSD's confidence. He had a bumper IPL and he was 1st class in Zimbabwe plus he bats ok too.

  • on October 14, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Unfair to yuvraj...he has made a comeback..so its important that he's given his usual position so that he gains confidence..also, dhoni's word tell us that he don't have confidence at yuvraj..he's our world cup hero..deserves his earned spot..dhoni's strategy could lead to the situation with raina not prepeared for number 4 and yuvraj lacking his confidence at no. 4..also, raina is more good for quick 30's than centuries..even in tha last game, is yuvraj would have made those 39 runs and got a start, he would have stayed till the end and won the match for us..while raina wasted evrything and even got yuvraj into pressure..

  • on October 14, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    I agree with "Calvin R Noronha" dhoni is just trying to place as many CSK players as he can. Raina is more of the dhoni guy. Yuvraj singh have earned his number 4 slot. He won us a world cup not Dhoni. In worldcup dhoni only fired in one match where other have contributed well , Yuvi was not out as well , he has been winning matches for the team. Own us a match against Australia from the Jaws of defeat. Yuvi purly came to the team based on merit, not on a favour . He was top scorer in almost all the three matches he played against westindies A.

  • usernames on October 14, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    I'd have either Rahane or Pujara in that spot because we're going to Australia, for a start, and it's #4, where you need to be a lot more responsible. For now, that might mean Raina loses his ODI spot, which is okay for me.

    Raina at #4 isn't a very bad idea either, but if Rahane or Pujara click and get the experience of another 30-35 matches under their belt, they are FAR more equipped to handle short bowling on those pitches than Raina. Raina would still be at #5 if Yuvraj doesn't play, but if Yuvraj does, he goes to #5, too. Unfortunate for Raina, yes, but his competition is straight with Yuvraj and if Yuvraj is fit and batting well then there's no alternative. His bowling also becomes an advantage.

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Jadeja can't handle top class bowling. We just saw that in the match against the Aussies. He can score tons on docile pitches against pathetic domestic bowlers.

  • rhtkumar672 on October 14, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    Over the years we have seen that MS Dhoni never doubt either himself or his players. So why not he himself plays at No.4 position. Clearly he is the best batsman in the team. He can anchor the innings as well as play aggressive when required. Time to lead from the front CAPTAIN.

  • givenUP on October 14, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    This is one of the stupidest logic I have ever heard. Has Dhoni prepared backups for Ashwin and Ishant in the bowling department. In other words, does he have 2 players tried and tested for each spot ?NOT..... Dhoni never wanted Yuvraj in the team and that was evident when Yuvraj was dropped after average performance (better than many other who retained their place). Yuvraj is being given bowling even after Kohli and that tells you something. Dhoni got rid of Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and other seniors. He will again soon get Yuvraj out of the team. "Planing to have a back for 2015 WC". Dude who are you to guess whether Raina will be in form or healthy by the 2015 WC. I don't usually comment but seriously I am amazed to see how many readers have agreed with Dhoni. A guy who literally has won you two world cups is trying to make a comeback and you don't care about that and move him lower down the order.

  • Harinasi on October 14, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    Honestly speaking the last ODI has the right batting combination for India, with Dhoni and Yuvraj being the backbone to the entire lineup, the game never ends till both of them are back in pavilion and if they get going the opposition bowling will have a really rough day. Rohit and Dhawan, Kohli and Raina provided any one of them stays long till the 50 over, it would be a pleasure to watch each of them when they get going. So the world cup in sights, preparation have begun in the right direction, and yes, forgot to mention Jadeja at No 7.

  • IndCricFan2013 on October 14, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    Let us not over analyze. What if Yuvi did not score those runs n domestic and get picked up for ODI? Who is there to bat at #4, it is Raina. Just because Yuvi comes and goes out of team and comes back again, does not mean Raina needs to keep leaving the way for every one for his entire cricket life. It is not fair. He deserves it and that is the bottom line. Rohit Sharma played and still playing in all positions with out scoring runs. When Yuvi walked in there were plenty of overs, which a #4 would get. But what has happened, not to criticize him, but that is how it is. Depending on how the first 2 get out, #4 and #5 can come in early or late. So, it is not that a big deal to write articles and discuss about it.

  • EnglishCricket on October 14, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Overrated player only performs on flat tracks. Test record is also mediocre. Only thing that stands out is fielding.

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Well ... I'm not too sure if Raina should be persisted with at No.4. He is a natural aggressor. Dhoni himself has come at No.4 many a time and rescued India. Why can't he give himself an extended run there? If Yuvraj is doing well at No.4, why disturb him? Dhoni is a fantastic cricketer with a great cricketing acumen. So if Yuvraj were to fail in 2-3 matches, he can come in himself. Also, Rohit is a more natural No.4 than Raina. Why not promote Raina so that he can take advantage of the initial power play? After all left handers like Saeed Anwar, Sanath Jayasuriya even Brian Lara were not openers when they started their careers. Didn't they succeed big time? So why not Raina as an opener? He not only gets more overs to play, he can also play his shots and not get out.

  • IndTheBest on October 14, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    I think Dhoni should try Pujara at #3 and Kohli at #4 rather trying for Raina.

  • CricketFan1113 on October 14, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    I think Dhoni will retain Yuvi for No.4 during the world cup as he is the best available player right now to play at that position. But it is important to give Raina the experience to play at No.4. It makes our batting more flexible.

  • Alexk400 on October 14, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    Buvi should not bowl final overs. With his speed , he will be tonked. He may need to improve batting to seal his spot.

  • CricketFan1113 on October 14, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    I honestly feel its a good move by Dhoni. It gives the chance for Raina to score big runs. Its the century which catches attention not the quickfire 30s

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    I think people here commenting "Dhoni should first think about bowling".

    Answer is simple, Our batting order can handle experiments, and we can win one way or the other with batting alone. But in bowling, Dhoni has to pick the people who are more experienced (even though they might be ordninary). Dhoni cannot afford to experiment with the bowling.

    Its BCCI which is focusing on marketing and moolah rather than getting fast bowlers and fast pitches ready in time for 2015.

    MSD has said it often, including the presentation ceremony during Pune ODI, "I dont have any bowler who is fast, all are swing bowlers, so I have my limitations".

    Among fast bolwers, Aaron is not fit, Munaf has no temperament, Umesh is too expensive, Shami ahmed is not effective, Ishant is "unlucky", Zak is no longer young, Sreesanth is .... What does one do?

    Since Sandeep Patil, we see bold decisions, so will SP pick a surprise like Rahul Shukla and help MSD?

    We need fast answers!

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    With Shikar Dhawan at the top spot doing well and Ajinkay Rahane in the next alongside Murali Viajy and Gambhir competing into the the next openor spot and virat kholi doing well in the third slot and Yuvi doing well in the number four slot its best to leave raina and rohit sharma and dhoni to follow on with the 5,6,7 doing its good bit in dual role wicketkeeping and batting or bowling and batting..... I dont think we need Raina going up but doing his bit best at the spot he is in , our tail end his good with Ashwin , Yadav, Inshat Sharma, Bunwaneshar, Zaheer able to dig well and hit a few boundaries we have a team which needs raina and rohit in the tail-end not raina going up a good solution

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Why not Dhoni upgrades himself up the order or send Sir Jadeja in at no.4 since he has three triple hundreds in domestic cricket and he bats at no.4 for Saurashtra.

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Why not dhoni bat at no.4 or send Sir Jadeja in since he has three triple hundreds in domestic cricket and he bats at no.4 for Saurashtra

  • CricketFan1113 on October 14, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Surely its worth a try i think. Raina responded with a good 39 although its not enough to chase a target of 305. But its important to give him a fair amount of chances at No.4 like they did to Rohit for opening slot. I hope he uses the opportunity this time well.

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    it is very unfair with worldcup winner and man of the series yuvi.also reina didt prove himself at no.4 possition in zim and wi tour he is better option at 6 after dhoni. as a hitter after 35overs and take pressure off from dhoni to play his game till the end.

  • on October 14, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    There will be a lot of comments on the bowlers before project Raina. India's choice for the the 2015 would cuo right now is Zaheer, IC Pandey and Varun Aaron as far as the bowling is concerned. Bhuv will slow down and Ishant excellent only in Mohali and Dharamsala in India. Forget about Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar and others will not be effective. Zaheer is a safe choice if he is fit, IC Pandey is quicker than Bhuv and Mohit Sharma and also has a better economy rate than Bhuv and Mohit Sharma or about the same ECO rate. Aaron has the lowest ECO compared to Ishant and Yadav for the quicker bowlers in the ODIs.

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Who will be in form at WC2015 is anybody's guess, might as well run with Yuvraj. Raina is a good player, its probably a good idea to give him a longer run at No.4, but citing Yuvraj's form is unnecessary.

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Why special treatment to CSK players.....No player can OWN any spot..They need to EARN it.

  • jb633 on October 14, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Suresh Raina can't play the short ball and will be a sitting duck on the bouncy tracks of Australia. I think India should look to blood in someone like Pujara who can play proper fast bowling.

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Good move as i feel Raina is a player who has all shots in the book provided he handles the short stuff well . Hope the plan paves good results :)

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Only time will tell that Raina would establish himself as a number 4 batsman or not but you have got to admire Dhoni for thinking ahead of time. Players/selectors from our part of the world have never been so proactive before and in case of a poor WC campaign, the dirty blame game has been a norm. Whatever the result may be, such actions must always be commended. It also goes to show how serious this Indian think tank is about retaining the WC. Dhoni has already won India almost every major title there is but his seriousness to strive for more is highly admirable and this is coming from a fan across the border. I can only wish that the bosses at our end also start to think long term and chose the right men for the right job. Cheers!

  • asiacricket1234 on October 14, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Why Raina :O. Why not Yuvi? Is that mean Yuvi;s test career is done :( ???.

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Raina's doing alrite, think about developing the bowling, apart from bhuvi i dont think ishant sharma or vinay kumar are going to do us any good, mohit sharma unadkat should be given a chance.

  • VVSR92 on October 14, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    The objective makes sense & it is a great oppurtunity for raina to make big runs & secure his spot in the side. I feel yuvraj should bat at #4 if he is in form in wc but these bilateral seris give enough chance for experimentation.However if raina does not adapt to his role at #4 his spot @ #6 may not be reserved and someone like rayudu who is waiting in the wings may grab it. So it can be viewed as a oppurtunity that's challenging for raina just as rohit did when hge was promoted to open.

  • starincricket on October 14, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    Interesting and true statistics by dhoni for raina.. Raina should up the order and he deserves too.. And good to lower order yuvraj, as he is challenging to be part of the squad and good finisher too..

    Project Raina will succeed..!!

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    I see what India are trying to do here, and even if it might not be true, these are my views on the situation: for years Sachin Tendulkar has, deservedly, been the face of India's batting and of the Indian Cricket Team in general. Undoubtedly, the BCCI have made a large income (and not only money-wise) on Tendulkar. Now that Sachin has announced his retirement, I believe they're attempting to make Raina, in my opinion the most talented young batsman in India, among many others of very similar level (e.g. Kohli), the new face of their line-up. However, from now to the 2015 World Cup, is his time to prove that he can do so and it's the time for the BCCI to assess whether he's good enough to take this role or not.

  • ATIMAYANK on October 14, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Quite understandable isnt it? Dhoni always protects and goes for players from CSK. Raina as a number 4? seriously? What's his record overseas? Outside the subcontinent he averages 25 something with just two 50's from 45 matches. Yuvraj is slightly better with average of 30 and three 100's and 12 50's from 85 matches. And lets talk about big tournaments for whuch Dhoni wants to prepare Raina. Does anyone remember where was he in t20 WC 2007? OR 2011 WC? In both those series Yuvraj was the one who played a major role while Raina was hopeless. Raina is a player good for Indian pitches only.. and that too for smaller tournaments.

  • SamRoy on October 14, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    I wish Dhoni thought about the bowling as well. Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma aren't going to win you any matches unless batsman become bored with their bowling and gift them wickets.

  • SamRoy on October 14, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    I wish Dhoni thought about the bowling as well. Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma aren't going to win you any matches unless batsman become bored with their bowling and gift them wickets.

  • ATIMAYANK on October 14, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Quite understandable isnt it? Dhoni always protects and goes for players from CSK. Raina as a number 4? seriously? What's his record overseas? Outside the subcontinent he averages 25 something with just two 50's from 45 matches. Yuvraj is slightly better with average of 30 and three 100's and 12 50's from 85 matches. And lets talk about big tournaments for whuch Dhoni wants to prepare Raina. Does anyone remember where was he in t20 WC 2007? OR 2011 WC? In both those series Yuvraj was the one who played a major role while Raina was hopeless. Raina is a player good for Indian pitches only.. and that too for smaller tournaments.

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    I see what India are trying to do here, and even if it might not be true, these are my views on the situation: for years Sachin Tendulkar has, deservedly, been the face of India's batting and of the Indian Cricket Team in general. Undoubtedly, the BCCI have made a large income (and not only money-wise) on Tendulkar. Now that Sachin has announced his retirement, I believe they're attempting to make Raina, in my opinion the most talented young batsman in India, among many others of very similar level (e.g. Kohli), the new face of their line-up. However, from now to the 2015 World Cup, is his time to prove that he can do so and it's the time for the BCCI to assess whether he's good enough to take this role or not.

  • starincricket on October 14, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    Interesting and true statistics by dhoni for raina.. Raina should up the order and he deserves too.. And good to lower order yuvraj, as he is challenging to be part of the squad and good finisher too..

    Project Raina will succeed..!!

  • VVSR92 on October 14, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    The objective makes sense & it is a great oppurtunity for raina to make big runs & secure his spot in the side. I feel yuvraj should bat at #4 if he is in form in wc but these bilateral seris give enough chance for experimentation.However if raina does not adapt to his role at #4 his spot @ #6 may not be reserved and someone like rayudu who is waiting in the wings may grab it. So it can be viewed as a oppurtunity that's challenging for raina just as rohit did when hge was promoted to open.

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Raina's doing alrite, think about developing the bowling, apart from bhuvi i dont think ishant sharma or vinay kumar are going to do us any good, mohit sharma unadkat should be given a chance.

  • asiacricket1234 on October 14, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Why Raina :O. Why not Yuvi? Is that mean Yuvi;s test career is done :( ???.

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Only time will tell that Raina would establish himself as a number 4 batsman or not but you have got to admire Dhoni for thinking ahead of time. Players/selectors from our part of the world have never been so proactive before and in case of a poor WC campaign, the dirty blame game has been a norm. Whatever the result may be, such actions must always be commended. It also goes to show how serious this Indian think tank is about retaining the WC. Dhoni has already won India almost every major title there is but his seriousness to strive for more is highly admirable and this is coming from a fan across the border. I can only wish that the bosses at our end also start to think long term and chose the right men for the right job. Cheers!

  • on October 14, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Good move as i feel Raina is a player who has all shots in the book provided he handles the short stuff well . Hope the plan paves good results :)

  • jb633 on October 14, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Suresh Raina can't play the short ball and will be a sitting duck on the bouncy tracks of Australia. I think India should look to blood in someone like Pujara who can play proper fast bowling.