Australia in India 2012-13 March 19, 2013

Dhawan out, Raina in for Delhi Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

Suresh Raina has been called up to the India squad for the fourth Test against Australia as replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan, who has been ruled out for six weeks with a fractured left hand. Gautam Gambhir, who had been dropped in favour of Dhawan for the Australia Tests, was also added to the squad initially, before a blood test showed he was down with jaundice, a BCCI release said.

Dhawan had injured his hand while trying to stop a Phillip Hughes square drive during Australia's second innings on the fourth day of the Mohali Test. He did not field for the rest of the day and also did not bat during India's chase after having made 187 in his debut innings. ESPNcricinfo understands the selectors had discussed that the need for naming a replacement for Dhawan would arise only if the team management asked for it.

Dhawan's fracture, Gambhir's illness and Virender Sehwag's axing after the Hyderabad Test leave M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane as the only openers in the squad. Vijay is the only India opener to have played in all three Tests so far, with hundreds in Hyderabad and Mohali. Rahane is yet to play a Test but looks most likely to partner Vijay in Delhi.

However, with Raina's inclusion as a back-up batsman, it won't be surprising if Cheteshwar Pujara opens, like he did in the second innings in Mohali, and Raina bats in the middle order, leaving no place for Rahane.

The last of Raina's 17 Tests came against New Zealand in Bangalore in September 2012. He wasn't part of the squad for the four Tests against England and the first three Tests against Australia. He had an underwhelming Ranji season, with 304 runs in six games at an average of 33.77, although he did make 134 and 71 in the Irani Cup game against Mumbai last month.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaustav on March 22, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    Tiwary should be given chance

  • John on March 22, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    Very bad luck that Dhawan is injured after batting so well on debut. From what I have seen of Raina and Rahane, neither of them are anywhere near as good as Dhawan.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    Very happy to see Raina in. He will definitely utilize the opportunity to cement his place in the test team.p

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    No one is gonna play overseas well as they play in India except dhoni,kohli,shewage ,sachin,gambhir,raina(raina played awesome in england)i can bet u that.....this youngster has played in spinning track and has played against worst indian bowlers and they had play against Australia fast bowlers in spinning track so that does't matters..the way i look train them more against fast bowlers...for playing overseas like SA

  • Binu on March 21, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    If Rahane is from Mumbai School of Batting,the players now a days from that School not justifying their talent like Rohith,insted a new batting school is coming up that is Delhi School of batting contributed openers like V Shewag,G Gambheer now S Dhawan and new boy U Chand,and not forgetting V Kohli the middle order, and next is Tamil Nadu with Vijay showing that and Mukund is waiting as opener and Aparajith as Middile order not forgetting BadriNath the unlucky.Hyderbad always famous for its wristy batting talents like Vishy,Lakshman,Ashar and now Raydu is waiting and Akshanth Reddy and Hanuma Vihary is teh future prospects

  • raj on March 21, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Agree with all those who said that Rayudu has best technique to succeed overseas.

  • raj on March 21, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    The thing that concerns me about Rehane is that, unlike Pujara, he only has a great average in Ranji cricket - all other List A stats are mundane. Begs the question of whether he is capable of stepping up or whether he will even get the opportunity to! Would not surprise me if Dhoni plays Raina instead of Rehane in the next match. Rehane could be the next Bhadrinath.

  • Naresh on March 21, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Rayudu is certainly the best bet for overseas pitches, but Raina would enter any team on fielding standards alone. We need fielders who can take the slightest chance when offered - bowlers get disgruntled when catches are dropped. Both Rayudu and Raina should be on the plane to SA. These are gutsy players.

  • kartikeya on March 21, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    very good thing that indian selectors understood the talent of raina.They did not understand sehwag's talent

  • sam on March 21, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    @laxmanrules You are absolutely correct. Rayudu is the third best middle order batsman in the country (after Pujara and Kohli) and looks comfortable against any bowler. He has to bat at No. 6. Jadeja is an option useful only in Asia and West Indies (nowadays pitches in WI spin more than Asia). He is troubled by quality fast (Anderson, Pattinson) bowlers even on Indian pitches.