New Zealand v India, 3rd ODI, Auckland January 24, 2014

Is Raina India's best No.5?

Suresh Raina is known to make quick runs, but does he have the game to last longer when conditions and situations are both difficult
146

Suresh Raina is known for throwing himself around on the field, and even with only four men outside the circle, MS Dhoni trusts him enough to hand him the ball now and then. But do India believe he is the best man they have to walk in at 30 for 3 against Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson at the MCG in the 2015 World Cup? It is unusual for such a question to even be contemplated for a man who is 12 short of 200 ODIs. But the fact that it is being asked is revealing.

It is staggering for a batsman who is in his ninth year of international cricket to still have a major problem with the short ball. It is also staggering that a batsman with such a problem should have played as much top-grade cricket as Raina has. But this is not only about the short ball. Bouncer or not, Raina does not provide the confidence that he can last long enough to revive India from 30 for 3 against sustained, quality fast bowling away from subcontinent conditions.

The team management seems to have faith in him though, they recently thought of developing him as a back-up No.4 batsman for the World Cup. Raina had four innings at that position at home against Australia. Twice, he fell cheaply to Johnson's bouncer (he fell similarly to Adam Milne in Napier). In a terrible series for bowlers - 350-plus totals were hunted down twice with ease - Raina managed a highest of 39. That innings ended when he swiped at James Faulkner and mis-hit to third man.

That swipe over midwicket is probably Raina's defining stroke. It emphasises he is an aggressive player, that he does not like to be tied down. But if he bats at No.5 in Australia or South Africa, there will be days when he will have no choice but to be circumspect for a while. Does Raina have the patience and the skills to bide his time? Can he survive a few hostile overs from Johnson and Steyn? If after so many years, there are still doubts over that aspect of his game, then we probably know the answer.

The swipe is also symbolic of Raina for another reason. In India, he often comes in when quick runs are needed. There is little problem with swiping everything over midwicket at the death. But do India want a No.5 ODI batsman whose primary skill is that?

It might pass at home where the top order more often than not sets up games. But to have so much belief in a man, who often needs a senior partner at the other end, seems difficult to justify. Especially when India have one of the greatest limited-overs batsmen ever to follow Raina at No. 6. Dhoni not only finishes games better than Raina does, he also rebuilds and revives without much discomfort. Tellingly, Raina manages just over 28 outside Asia with three fifties. Dhoni averages nearly 42 with 16 half-centuries. And he also promotes himself ahead of Raina at times.

Dhoni did that in the second ODI in Hamilton. Raina came in at No.6, when the asking-rate was quite high. He fell after clubbing 35 off 22.

Dhoni sounded satisfied with the effort. "It was a certain kind of game that was demanded of him [Raina] in this particular innings," he said. "It was good. He is someone who plays aggressive cricket but it is important to control your mind as to what are the areas you want to hit. If it is not there, [your have to see] what are the options you have got. It is not like you want to try and hit something, [and] even if is not there you go for a big shot. That was something he did particularly well in this innings. Hopefully he will gather plenty of confidence after this innings and carry on longer."

The point, however, is whether Raina has the game to last longer when conditions and situations are difficult? Or are India happy to go to the World Cup with a No.5 whose strongest suit is scoring quick, late runs? That is, if he manages to survive the inevitable early bouncer barrage.

If Dhoni feels the need to come in at No.5 ahead of Raina, India might be better off picking someone like Stuart Binny at No.6. He will give them a seam-bowling option, something Raina cannot. And he might not do much worse than Raina is at present with the bat.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TheOnlyEmperor on January 27, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    Raina is even today one of the most valuable assets in the Indian team especially when it needs to score big runs at a fast clip. Dhoni, Raina and Kohli are the 3 who are indispensable and those who don't understand this, clearly don't understand ODI and T20 cricket.

  • India_Keep_Roaring on January 27, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    Suresh Raina's drought has been longer. He has scored just one fifty - that too against Zimbabwe - in his last 30 innings without any threat to his place in the side. The rope must be getting shorter.

  • on January 25, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    you cant definitely doubt raina's talent but he has to make that into reality i think he is far more comfortable batting at 3 or 4 positions where he can build an innings as you see it in ipl.i agree ipl and international cricket are two different things.i think yuvraj is far more reliable than raina snd some other players like yusuf nayer binny should also be given a chance

  • ManojBrock on January 25, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    When it comes to wc 2015,pitches in Aus/NZ are hard and the grounds are longer than indian pitches..So we need someone who can be a striker,slogger and hard hitter."that is none other than Yuvraj Singh"yep he did that back in england lord's stadium.yes he is the who can combine striking,slogging and hard hitting! unlike yuvi others dont combine these things

  • ManojBrock on January 25, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Its obvious you got to pick Yuvraj Singh for Icc T20WC.You cant rely on these youngsters either.I guess he should be made as captain in T20 coz dhoni havent made a fifty plus score in T20s.He is far more better than any indian batsman in T20s he leads the table in almost categories like highest strike rate,Highest average,Fastest fifty,Six sixes in an Over.Most Man of the Match awards,Most number of sixes.His recent performance against Eng,pak,Aus in T20s shows how talent he is.He struck atleast one six in these matches.So If you are going to drop yuvraj then get ready to loose!!

  • ManojBrock on January 25, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    I dont think Raina should get another to prove his worth in the team! He exhausted all his fans.Maybe he should be given some rest.The selectors made wrong decision by dropping Yuvraj singh yet he is going through his bad phase but we know crucial to pick him in the squad.Raina's performances are worst than yuvraj singh.The selectors should have picked him.He won you two worldcups wont you consider this,and yeah he is been out due to his illness,But he made a solid comeback against WI.The selectors are making wrong decision with dropping yuvi everytime when he is out of form.If that is the case you cant pick your team either!The Whole team needs to be changed I guess.Bring Pujara,Gambhir,Yuvraj,Harbhajan &zaheer/Varun in place of Rahane,Jadeja,Raina,Ashwin ,Ishant

  • on January 25, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Raina good at No.5?? How many chances did he get above no.5 and I'm sure it's like lots of responsibility playing at 5 and he did a fine job there... Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma should be dropped from the team.. India will lose this series and blame must go on Dhoni coz he didn't do justice for Pujara.. I think Yuvraj Singh will do better job with bat and spin bowl than Ashwin or look for some other spinner... Jadeja Shikar Dhawan should be given couple of chances in overseas and decision to be made... We don't need Ishant Sharma Rohit Sharma and Ashwin and you people like pain for the Indian team..

  • Switch-hit on January 25, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    In ODIs, Raina is better among the yellow tags when compared to our 7 and 8, Ashwin and Jadeja. All teams have better allrounders in that slot, all of them can score 10-20 runs, if not more, in any match. Ashwin look better in batting; but his running between the wickets is so poor that it takes the advantage away from him

  • late on January 25, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    It's a matter of time before Manoj Tiwary is fit . Remember he was ahead of Rahane and Rayudu in the pecking order . If he was fit for this tour he would have been the number 4. He is a brilliant fielder and way better than Rahane. To his detractors who find him technically incompetent you always don't need a tight technique to flourish . How unorthodox is Kevin pietersen ? Tiwary after kohli is temperamentally the next best . Whenever provided a chance in the international arena he has grabbed it . He has scored abundant runs against a teams . As for his cluelessness against the short ball if he works the way bairstow ,kohli did it I'm sure he can find a way around it . Sourav ganguly not Steve Waugh were any better against the short ball. The main thing about Tiwary is he can guts it out . Doesn't mind if it comes out ugly . He is the scrappy gutsy batsman you need unlike Raina and Rohit Sharma . Pujara would be a complete misfit instead it would be better to have gambhir instead .

  • on January 25, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    India were lucky having won the World cup playing Raina at No.6.. I am a big fan of Rain when he is playing for CSK. I also feel that he is not a player to be fit enough to play for a No.1 ODI or a Champion India team. Raina need to be replaced.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on January 27, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    Raina is even today one of the most valuable assets in the Indian team especially when it needs to score big runs at a fast clip. Dhoni, Raina and Kohli are the 3 who are indispensable and those who don't understand this, clearly don't understand ODI and T20 cricket.

  • India_Keep_Roaring on January 27, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    Suresh Raina's drought has been longer. He has scored just one fifty - that too against Zimbabwe - in his last 30 innings without any threat to his place in the side. The rope must be getting shorter.

  • on January 25, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    you cant definitely doubt raina's talent but he has to make that into reality i think he is far more comfortable batting at 3 or 4 positions where he can build an innings as you see it in ipl.i agree ipl and international cricket are two different things.i think yuvraj is far more reliable than raina snd some other players like yusuf nayer binny should also be given a chance

  • ManojBrock on January 25, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    When it comes to wc 2015,pitches in Aus/NZ are hard and the grounds are longer than indian pitches..So we need someone who can be a striker,slogger and hard hitter."that is none other than Yuvraj Singh"yep he did that back in england lord's stadium.yes he is the who can combine striking,slogging and hard hitting! unlike yuvi others dont combine these things

  • ManojBrock on January 25, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Its obvious you got to pick Yuvraj Singh for Icc T20WC.You cant rely on these youngsters either.I guess he should be made as captain in T20 coz dhoni havent made a fifty plus score in T20s.He is far more better than any indian batsman in T20s he leads the table in almost categories like highest strike rate,Highest average,Fastest fifty,Six sixes in an Over.Most Man of the Match awards,Most number of sixes.His recent performance against Eng,pak,Aus in T20s shows how talent he is.He struck atleast one six in these matches.So If you are going to drop yuvraj then get ready to loose!!

  • ManojBrock on January 25, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    I dont think Raina should get another to prove his worth in the team! He exhausted all his fans.Maybe he should be given some rest.The selectors made wrong decision by dropping Yuvraj singh yet he is going through his bad phase but we know crucial to pick him in the squad.Raina's performances are worst than yuvraj singh.The selectors should have picked him.He won you two worldcups wont you consider this,and yeah he is been out due to his illness,But he made a solid comeback against WI.The selectors are making wrong decision with dropping yuvi everytime when he is out of form.If that is the case you cant pick your team either!The Whole team needs to be changed I guess.Bring Pujara,Gambhir,Yuvraj,Harbhajan &zaheer/Varun in place of Rahane,Jadeja,Raina,Ashwin ,Ishant

  • on January 25, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Raina good at No.5?? How many chances did he get above no.5 and I'm sure it's like lots of responsibility playing at 5 and he did a fine job there... Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma should be dropped from the team.. India will lose this series and blame must go on Dhoni coz he didn't do justice for Pujara.. I think Yuvraj Singh will do better job with bat and spin bowl than Ashwin or look for some other spinner... Jadeja Shikar Dhawan should be given couple of chances in overseas and decision to be made... We don't need Ishant Sharma Rohit Sharma and Ashwin and you people like pain for the Indian team..

  • Switch-hit on January 25, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    In ODIs, Raina is better among the yellow tags when compared to our 7 and 8, Ashwin and Jadeja. All teams have better allrounders in that slot, all of them can score 10-20 runs, if not more, in any match. Ashwin look better in batting; but his running between the wickets is so poor that it takes the advantage away from him

  • late on January 25, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    It's a matter of time before Manoj Tiwary is fit . Remember he was ahead of Rahane and Rayudu in the pecking order . If he was fit for this tour he would have been the number 4. He is a brilliant fielder and way better than Rahane. To his detractors who find him technically incompetent you always don't need a tight technique to flourish . How unorthodox is Kevin pietersen ? Tiwary after kohli is temperamentally the next best . Whenever provided a chance in the international arena he has grabbed it . He has scored abundant runs against a teams . As for his cluelessness against the short ball if he works the way bairstow ,kohli did it I'm sure he can find a way around it . Sourav ganguly not Steve Waugh were any better against the short ball. The main thing about Tiwary is he can guts it out . Doesn't mind if it comes out ugly . He is the scrappy gutsy batsman you need unlike Raina and Rohit Sharma . Pujara would be a complete misfit instead it would be better to have gambhir instead .

  • on January 25, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    India were lucky having won the World cup playing Raina at No.6.. I am a big fan of Rain when he is playing for CSK. I also feel that he is not a player to be fit enough to play for a No.1 ODI or a Champion India team. Raina need to be replaced.

  • laddum on January 25, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    all the raina lovers go look up his stats playing in AUS, WI, NZ AND SA. 52 Odi's 1060 runs and 2 50's. I rest my case.

  • on January 25, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    Raina is a genuine talent and has played very well in the past , he is going thrw a tough patch of form , but he will defntly come back ..

  • on January 25, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    please do not forget the fielding skills that he has and the contributions he made on the field.

  • Selfishkar on January 25, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    Pujara should hire Rishi sports if he wants to play in ODIs.

  • thaikkathameed on January 25, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    Drop Dhoni, Rohit, Raina, Ashwin, Ishant and Jadeja and pick Ghambir, Pujara, Binny, Aaron and Voijay Zol.

  • nikkam on January 25, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    it is unfair to be critical of raina at this stage as for almost a decade he has been batting lower. At this stage of his career it is difficult for anybody to accept new responsibilities that are beyond ones abilities. MSD is at fault for backing raina for No. 5 position as his repeated failures will erode his confidence to even bat lower. With WC2015 in mind gambhir should be ideal to bat at No. 5 as he knows to balance between aggression and defence and is also not such a bad player of the pull shot. He has got years still in him and india need to get the best out of him. Comparing batting skills of jadeja and raina, they seem almost identical is foreign conditions are both are at sea against bounce. In such a case, going with jadeja or ashwin is a good option for the WC as both are not so bad at lower batting positions. To blood youngsters like binny or rayudu at this stage will be a mistake. The core of the team is aleady formed now, only minor adjustments are needed.

  • crick_wizard on January 25, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    I am glad at last someone wrote an article on this topic, something I have been thinking about for a long time..Whenever I look at Raina's stats and innings, its amazing that for someone who has played so many matches, how few impactful innings he has played..I cannot think of too many innings in which he played a match winning or match turning innings..all he gets is a quick 20 or a 30 at best and thats it, which might be good enough for a number 6 or a 7, but not for a number 5! what we need is someone like yuvraj singh, who can walk into the pressure, play longer and match winning innings and finish things off..we cannot expect dhoni to finish each game!No doubt Raina is a fantastic player in IPL but he just does not create the same impact in ODIs..

  • on January 25, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    Raina should have been long dropped. He is favoured by Dhoni and it has reached a stage where shame has no meaning. He should be replaced by Pujara. Actually, there needs to be quite a few changes. The team should read: 1. Dhawan\Unmkud chand\Manish Pande, 2. Rohit sharma\Rahane, 3, Kohli, 4. Pujara, 5. kedar jadhav\shewag\Zol, 6. Dhoni, 7. Aparjith\praveen kumar, 8.Mohammad Shammi 9. Zaheer Khan\vinay kumar\Mithun 10. Ojaha\shreyas gopal, 11. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. The slash I have put is to swift around those players for those position to see who will perform. In away, the best thing to happen to Indian cricket will be a 5-0 defeat against NZ. Otherwise we will have Raina, Jadeja etc. continuing. Note in my team I have highly promising youngesters like Unmkud Chand, Aparjith, Zol, and Shreyas Gopal. Also getting Shewag back in middle order can be master stroke. Try the above team and we will win 2015 world cup. Not through favoritism that is going on now.

  • Siva_Bala75 on January 25, 2014, 2:00 GMT

    Raina has played so well during the Pak-India series and subsequently against England when every one else including Virat failed. Raina is the best No. 5- absolutely. Why? Currently ODI totals have gravitated towards the 300 mark thanks to the new rules. Kohli at No. 3 and Rohit Sharma at No. 4 can play both ways (aggressive or steady) followed by Raina and Dhoni to finish is the best India can have now. Of course Rahane can open with Dhawan.

  • on January 25, 2014, 1:54 GMT

    India has made the biggest mistake of not including Pujara in their ODI squad. In total India has two batsmen who are gifted enough to adjust to different type pitches. Kohli and Pujara.

  • on January 25, 2014, 1:32 GMT

    Drop rohit,raina,ashwin,ishant.pick sehwag ,pujara,binny,aaron

  • on January 25, 2014, 1:27 GMT

    I think they should have played sehwag.he is a player who perfoms well on foreign pitches.he would scored well against medium pacers like corey anderson

  • on January 25, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    Honestly he should not play IPL and spend few months playing county cricket. this will do him world of good. he is not as gifted as Kohli or Pujara but he is no less fighter than them. He just needs to get some technique instead of making money in the long term. A lot of indian and pakistani cricketers used to play county to horne their overseas batting skills. is the board not allowing them or if its their personal choice is something i always wonder. No doubt he is an amazing athelete born to play this game, but needs some help right now.

  • tmp789 on January 25, 2014, 0:03 GMT

    I think Raina is lot better than Rohit Sharma. Considering the number of chances Rohit had, I think he should never be allowed back. Ditto for Ishant.

    Raina has a problem, and I think he will bounce back, but Rohit lacks temperament. Have you noticed that Rohit takes a lot of balls to start going as compared to other batsmen. Just check his strike rate

  • on January 24, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    if you check the total of last 10 innings of yuvraj and raina yuvraj scores more runs then raina. it's unfortunate for yuvraj he is not playing for Chennai super kings and captain has no faith on it. India has won two world cup because of yuvraj. he is real match winner . question is why dhoni didn't give bowl to yuvraj? and please check the records only few times raina won the match for India. when yuvraj scores over fifty India loose only few games...you need to sit and workout with yuvraj instead of throwing out of the team. I think rahane is much better choice in place of raina. yuvraj need to be back in Indian if India really want to win world cup...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 24, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    To be able to play at no.4/no.5, a batsman needs to be able to, seamlessly, play at least two roles. 1) Play long and be able to score centuries if needed. And within this particular inning, he needs to have the skills to push around and stabilize and then be able to seamlessly change gears as the inning progresses. Ask yourself this question - does Raina have these skills? The answer is a resounding NO. 2) Score quick-fire 30s and 50s if the foundation was already laid by the top-order. Ask yourself this question - does Raina have these skills? I think yes for this second question. BUT, with teams now knowing his obvious struggles against bouncers, he has lost ground on this role too. What all he can do now is to throw himself on the ground and roll his arm over for a couple of overs. Ask this question - Is this what no.4's/no.5's main role in the team? Answer is a resounding NO. So, the only reason he is in the team is because he is Dhoni's blue-eyed poster-boy from CSK. Simple!

  • on January 24, 2014, 21:13 GMT

    Here is whats going to happen. Raina will hit a 50 add runs in one of the games and Dhoni claims Raina is getting better and he needs more exposure in middle order !! So, all he is doing is booking a place for Raina in next world cup. Everybody knows that it requires technique to play in bouncy pitches. That is why Kohli has better strike rate in this tour than anybody else in Indian team, including Dhoni. Raina could be a great player in sub-continent but its proven he can't repeat his heroics anywhere else. I mean, show me a recent game that Raina won us outside India. Dhoni should know better !!! Why is Pujara not in this team ??? Is it b'z he doesn't look as cool as Raina ?? Take a poll and see how many would prefer replacing Raina with Pujara. He is much better than Raina in these pitches. This tour would have been a good experience for him and Dhoni should have tested his skill. Dhoni is single handly ruining Pujara's ODI career !!

  • WishIndiaImprove on January 24, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    The problem with latest Indian batsmen (raina, Nohit, Dhawan etc) are experience outside India. Long back seniors like SRT, RD, etc used to play country cricket in england to gain experience. Now due to fancy IPL none of the Indian players are playing county matches. IPL should force each club to release atleast one player to play on county cricket. Also, the club should pay the player full because he is gaining experience for the country. As everyone knows, only talented players will be playing county cricket when other players simply rotating bats for SIXs and money

  • raulraj on January 24, 2014, 20:22 GMT

    Raina is too fragile against fast bowling. He shouldnt be in the team. For 2015, India needs to build a different Team: Sehwag needs to be back, he can score anywhere(more then runs his presence at the crease keeps the opposition on backfoot; just like Tendu!), its high time rahane starts opening, Irfan pathan and A Nayar. Zaheer and yuvi are to talented n experienced to be ignored. Amit mishra or Abhisekh Maneria should be tried for spin. maneria has the hight and can bat as well. My 11 for world cup: 1.Sehwag 2.Rahane 3.Pujara 4.Kholi 5.Yuvraj 6.Dhoni 7.A Nayar/R Dhawan 8.I Pathan 9.A Mishra 10.Shami 11.Zaheer. This team can win even in spinning tracks if sehwag and Yuvi are to be used efficeintly. This combination gives india deep battin upto 8, 3 spinners and 5 pace options including Kohli. Dhoni can be helped in tough situation by experience of Zaheer, Yuvi,Sehwag and I pathan. They might not be the best fielding side but will games then this current bunch. Just think. Peace Out!!

  • Raki99 on January 24, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    I don' think Raina would be a success in Australia becuase the Guy just can't bat on the bouncy pitches. But the bigger problem is the bowling right now. Both the spineers jadeja and ashwin looks horrible. (ashwin far worst outside subcontinent) I think they need to find a good spinner may give chance rassol. And the worst of the lot right now is MR. Sharma Both rohit and Ishant. I don't expect this team to do really well in the next year world cup.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 24, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    I am sure Raina is trying to improve outside of India. It's not easy for certain players given they had played all their lives inside India. In the case of Raina, he's simply incapable to adapt to the bounce in overseas conditions. He also doesn't possess the technique required to combat short pitch bowling. This is why I STRONGLY feel India need to look at 'specialists' who can play better abroad. Raina should be classified as an 'India only' player. I also sincerely feel Pujara should be given an opportunity to play ODIs for India overseas since he has the right technique. There are too many things done wrongly by Duncan Fletcher and Dhoni at the moment which is costing the team games. Dhoni may be Captain Cool but he is can also be a FOOL who keeps persisting with failed players too often.

  • old_guard on January 24, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. Raina is one of these players who will always be a flat track bully. He doesn't even give the illusion of being competent against quality attacks outside the sub-continent, and I can't remember another player that has been persisted with to the extent that he. Really hoping that Dhoni comes to his senses sooner rather than later on this. And don;t even get me started on Rohit. I'd also put Dhawan in the same category too. All three will get badly exposed (again) if they make it to England and Australia later this year.

  • gauravm5 on January 24, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    @vagee: Umesh Yadav is in India. He is not a part of 16 men ODI squad picked for this tour.

  • sixesandfours on January 24, 2014, 19:03 GMT

    Raina is an asset if he curbs his shot selection and play responsibly, WIth his offspinners he will be better bowler than Ashwin in Oversees conditions. Ashwin should be booted out and bringing Binny instead. We have Raina, Binny and Jadeja at 5-6-7 will give batting depth for india and crucial bowling 3 places with regular 3 pace bowlers to follow. Welcome this selection and BEST WISHES INDIA.

  • couchpundit on January 24, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    Indian fielding has improved from mediocrity to above average, thanks to IPL.....but it still is not excellent fielding unit yet. Specially Rohit sharma who keeps dropping catches and let the ball pass through his cordon. Raina hits the stump 95% of the time when batsman is home. Both the guys show off too much compared to what they have to show for results. Kohli and Rahane are doing good job. Bowling...10over/80Run hole otherwise called as Ishant Sharma...nothing to say there. Bhuvaneshwar can be more tight and should look to get wickets than to contain the bastmen.Shami he needs support from the other endby the looks of it he is going to be the workhorse like Javagal Srinath. Time to try Ishwar and or Varun...Please dont bring Umesh back unless he changes his mind to bowl express fast, what the point in having another medium pacer. In any case anyone but Ishant will make indian bowling better. Dump openers use Rahane,Pujara...Raina can open anyways he attacks for 20 runs & returns

  • on January 24, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    Raina should be the replacement for Ashwin... They both give same number of runs and raina has taken more wickets than AShwin in recent matches... He will be a good #7 to have. For No #5 they need to look at Yuraj / Tiwari/Pujara in the team

  • on January 24, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    shocking to see how people want drastic changes in the team. This team has just lost 4 ODIs. At least in NZ, the margins don't suggest the team was outplayed. These guys are easily capable of turning things around. Only problem I see is Ishant's selection in the team. He should definitely get the boot. Ashwin is another problem but I feel there's no replacement for him right now.

  • johnathonjosephs on January 24, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    I think Raina is fine. He has the experience and in the World Cup and ESPECIALLY in those 30/3 situations, experience trumps. Raina definitely has the ability to do so too. I remember India faced a similar situation before that fatal whitewash in England where they were playing a first class team and the entire batting lineup failed except for Raina. The bigger question Indian fans will have to ask themselves is whether Ashwin's "mystery carrom ball" has been found out. Also, Dhawan's purple patch is almost up and he was never long term ODI material, while Rohit Sharma is severely overrated and seems to only fire on the flattest of pitches. Manoj Tiwary definitely deserves a chance and Dinesh Karthik has way better technique than either Rohit or Dhawan. Funny enough, if India wants to maximize their World Cup chances, they have to bring bat Gambhir. It was NOT DHONI who won the world cup Final, but Gambhir who set up the win. If Gambhir was not in that final, India would have lost

  • StarHawk on January 24, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    Suresh Raina is an ideal #6 or 7 batsman in limited overs cricket. He can bowl 4-5 decent overs, slog a quickfire 30 or 40 if there's a solid platform, and a brilliant fielder. But the problem is, Raina has been batting a lot these days at number 4 and 5. #4 and 5 should be legitimate batsmen who are capable of batting 30-35 overs if needed and score 100s. At the same time, it should be someone who can switch gear as well. Rayudu must be given a chance (20 games, not 2 or 3). Ideally, Dinesh Karthik should've been given a long run, because he is technically correct, got very good temperament and can play long innings or the big shot at will.

  • cricketexpert007 on January 24, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    Raina NEVER OUTSIDE SUB-CONTINENT

  • cricketexpert007 on January 24, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    He is too bad on bouncy pitches. He comes with big scores only in IPL and ODI's in subcontinent. Even in sub-continent he becomes out for a bouncy delivery.He is my last option outside the sub-continent.I want DINESH KARTHIK.

  • cricket_lover1 on January 24, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    IRFAN PATHAN & STUART BINNY should play at no 5 and 7 respectively whenever India plays outside subcontinent.

  • prasanna_79 on January 24, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    If the BCCI really want Raina & Rohit to be core players whom TEAM INDIA can rely upon consistently in all conditions.., then they should definitely drop them from the Indian team,make them participate in FC cricket in SA/AUS/ENG for a couple of seasons , hone their technique & then should be made to come back..! Whatever else they do or try with these two & whatever political games they play will just be futile exercises which will eventually destroy the players confidence to perform internationally..!! People all over the world will silently be laughing at our players for their lack of technique & they will rightly quote them as flat track bullies/tigers at home etc.., which is a shame on our country.. I would suggest that it should be mandatory for every player who would represent our country to play a couple of seasons in county/FC cricket in SA/AUS..,& with the power BCCI has got,i think it can easily arrange this for our promising cricketers..

  • abhithaparian on January 24, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Chuck the 30 for 3 theory. That happens once in a while. You can say that for 50 for 6 as well. Why not play a Pujara at No. 8 for this kind of a situation. The point is in most games you would like a No. 6 to get going from ball one and get you quickfire runs. Well I don't think India can have a better batsman at No. 6 than Raina, if Dhoni has to come at No. 5. Not many in the world can start hitting the ball as Raina can. He can be the difference between a good and a par score. Or maybe a close loss and a win. Remember WC 2011? Raina's spot was taken by another hitter,Pathan. But we know how the WC story finished. Gary Kirsten cited Raina to be the reason why India won the WC in many of his interviews. And I would not call that an exaggeration, simply because the kind of innings he played against Aus & Pak were just too critical. And as far as him struggling is concerned, I must say, I find his batting as fluent as any, just that he's being too aggressive against the short ball.

  • borninthetimeofSRT on January 24, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    Perhaps, the outlook of "preparing for World Cup" that has been playing on Dhoni's mind is quite unnatural. We have seen Australia making that mistake while using a series or two as a build up or a prep for the Ashes. It is quite unnatural of Dhoni (the man we all know, who lives and acts as per the situation) to prepare - he is not a prep man. May be he wants to end on a high, or may be he along with Fletcher are trying to redo the Gary Kirsten lessons. I am surprised at not seeing Pujara getting a ODI call. Let's face it. Raina has a problem facing the short ball. And since it is a technical flaw, and less to do with his mind, it will take a while to overcome. He is not India's ideal no. 5 in anyway. India are digging their grave by pressurizing themselves with the "world cup preparation," so far it has not been ideal. Get back to the old trick of "having no plan and just enjoying the game."

  • on January 24, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    We can all debate and provide our openions and suggestions. We can provde mountains of stats and instances to prove that Raina is undeserving of no 5 position in a team which pride itself of one ofmthe best batting lineup in the world. The cold fact is Raina has a complete backing of his skipper MSD. Come what maynyou get a feeling that MSD will back Raina till next world cup. Whaterver might be the resons but MSD will continue with him. At the moment India arguably has worlds best no 3 And no 6 in the business. For sustained period they were also having very stable opening partnership. But MSD and Rainas biggest test wiwlwl come if and when Kohli and or MSD encouters a bad patch with the bat. That will put tremendous pressure on Raina and if he fails the it will come back to haunt MSD big time. No one should forget the stellar all round performance Yuvi provided to get the world cup. Punters wont certainly be lining up to place their bets on Raina to do the same.

  • AhtshamCheema on January 24, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    thats great pakistan win the game for their nation

  • on January 24, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    Ambatati rayudu and Pujara are good choices instead of raina and rohit sharma respectively ,,rahane can open with gambhir or uthappa ,,rohit is totally waste and dhawan is a flat track bullie ,,jadeja can't bat ,,ashwin can't bowl,field ,run,,,,mishra can be given more chances ,,why the hell is ishant sharma is in the team ,,even i will not include him in my village team..recent matches we won bcoz of kohli,,dhoni (i am not a big fan of him,,don't like his captaincy even though he is india most successful captain but team was also very good ,,good mixture of seniors and juniors),luck of dhawan and rohit's home heroics,,raina haven'tt won us anything in last 2 years...

  • Waves239 on January 24, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    Excellent Article!

    I am big fan of Master Class episodes that are being telecast in Star Sports. Wasim, Rahul, etc., are exemplary in sharing the challenges, the routines and the methods they did put in sharpening their skills and succeeded in international arena.

    I am not opposed to T20 cricket but I observed very few players are able to adapt to each format as required. At the very tender age with the money these guys getting I don't see any future Indian crop spending at least a season or two in English County Cricket, mother of first class cricket. It has wide range of advantages starting from Cricket to Personality development. It mainly gives one's own check of how things are going on during off-season. Wasim, Waqar, Sachin, Rahul took their game to next level whereas current bunch of Indian crop at this age is busy in counting IPL Rupees.

    Not just restricting to Raina, it's high time India looks forward to the issue of protecting future crop getting their basics right!

  • WC2011Champs on January 24, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    Purohitji, wished you had written something like this about Rohit. Raina had one bad year (2013) in nine years and knives are out. Your article is late because he is not #5 anymore (by the way #5 don't come at 30 for 3). He is best suited to play around #6 and very very consistent bat beside superb fielder and occasional bowling. No arguments here let us just go straight to stats or facts. Pick ten consecutive "ODI" innings of his from any time frame. This will be his real contribution irrespective of Test Matches, his technique against bouncers, and will also include his away records. Anyways short balls and technique counts for nothing in ODIs, just run production. One more thing the WC15 team has to have some core members. So bouncing around names like Binny or another name next day won't do any good. Binny would already be in Indian team if he were that good. THIS IS FOR ALL RAINA BASHERS OR SHORT-TERM MEMORIES.

  • pull_shot on January 24, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    He failed in Aus CB series(that is not first series for him in aus he is in squad that won CB series in 2008), in Saf(for second time recently) ,now in NZ d way he is getting out is not conveying good message, he is batting like tailender, if he is an allrounder it is ok but as a specialist batsman u need better technique, I just can't understand how a player didn't learn to play short ball after 8 international years of cricket and last ti

  • Nampally on January 24, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    The answer is simple No! I think Dhoni should bat #5. In fact in this team, I would open with Ashwin & Dhawan followed by .Kohli, Rahane & Rohit. Then Dhoni can come in at #6. Either Raina or Rayudu or Binny can take the #7 spot. Dhoni has no idea of requirements of batting talent at each spot. He has a Fixed with same batting order in mind. Ashwin has the best technique to face the fast bowling. He is also excellent in hooking the short balls. He can score fast. Both Rohit & Rahane do not have the right technique for an opener. They are both middle order bats. As for Binny, he is grossly over rated as an all rounder. He bowls around 125 KPH with questionable accuracy. His batting is unorthodox & bit "Iffy"! He failed badly in India A under Pujara's captaincy recently. India needs "Specialist" Batsmen & Bowlers instead of unproven all rounders, India has just one reliable Bowler Shami + 2 reliable batsmen - Kohli+ Dhoni. In a "team game" you require XI reliable players to Win.

  • Omar-Briganto on January 24, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    I wonder What is the crime of DINESH KARTHIK ??? rather he was scoring hundereds if I can remind correctly, why cant he play as a batsman only?. I think Karthik would be the best replacement for Raina and Pujara can play much better than Rohit sharma on overseas tracks like England, Australia, Southafrica, NewZea,and etc. Bring back Gambhir and open with Gambhir and Pujara. Gambhir has still got alot in him and he can perform well in overseas conditions.

  • Patrick_ on January 24, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    I thought this would be a comparison between various No 5 positions for India. Average alone cannot be a criteria for No 5 batsmen since it is a difficult position. Dhoni's magnificent average also does not help Raina's cause. It would be good if we can have a comparison of statistics with other No 5 batsmen. My gut feeling is Raina would not fare bad, notwithstanding his obvious shortcoming against short balls outside subcontinent.

    I don't think Dhoni would experiment with a new No 5, he would have tried it in the last tri series in Australia. Rohit was groomed to play for the worldcup in that series using controversial rotation policy. Sad part is Rohit will almost play the world cup in Australia regardless of his performance.

  • on January 24, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    If Rohit Sharma gets a special place then Raina has to be safe. More because he bats at 5 and 6 and sometimes his 30s-40s are hige scores like in WC QF and SF and as good as tons.

  • RaviNarla on January 24, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    2 Changes and a batting order change might help. Replace Ishant with Binny. Raina with Rayudu and Promote Rahane to open and push Rohit down to Rahane's spot

  • jb633 on January 24, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    A couple of interesting things here. Firstly I believe this article shows the writer to be slightly lacking of technical expertise. To call Raina's hit over midwicket as a swipe is wrong. He plays it with pretty much a straight bat and the percentages of him playing it that way stack up favourably compared to a 'swipe'. It is more a loften on drive rather than a swipe. Secondly I do agree though that Raina has proven time and again he is not good enough against quick bowling. It is not just the short ball itself but the fact he is constantly looking out for it and hangs back in expectation and fear of its arrival. He is consequently limiting his range of strokes on the front foot. I think India should open with Pujara and move Rohit down to no 4. I don't think Rohit can face the brand new moving ball at this level but he can play spin and straight up and down stuff exceptionally well. Raina has had enough chances.

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Raina has done well batting at no.5 or no. 6. He may have struggled against the quick bowlers in recent times but his odi record is great considering he bats low, scores quickly, can hit (major factor in batting power plays & slog overs) and is a handy fielder. To have survived for so many years in ODI cricket is certainly not because of CSK factor, there is talent for sure.

    He obviously got some technical flaws in his batting against fast bowlers, with technology advancements and analytical tools available, the opposition is cashing in - situation compounded by back to back overseas tours where most Indian batsmen struggle. If Raina is able to put his head down work on the chinks, play a bit smart against super quicks he should be able to come out of this rut. Second ODI innings vs. NZ wasn't so bad.

  • class9ryan on January 24, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    Raina's presence in the field will always make any captain happy. But are his batting abilities good enough to stay in the 11 is questionable. I believe an Rayudu, Binny could be more useful in the long run.

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    He has been in the team for 9 years and still looks like a niewbie trying to make his way in the team. That pretty much sum up Raina nicely.

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    Please for the sake of Indian cricket shelve 'PROJECT' Raina and "spear head". Neither is international caliber. Raina is denying chances for some one like Pujara or Rayudu or any body else. And same with Ishant, Pandey or Pankaj or some one else. I commend Dhoni's loyalty and his persistence with players -you must give somebody enough chaces - but this experiment has gone on for too long. In my team going to WC2015 I have no room for Yuvi, Raina and Ishant. Sorry Yuvi you won WC2011 but buddy, I have no confidence in you going in to WC2015 . Seen enough of in Australia and South Africa. Thank you for your services to team India.

  • nikkam on January 24, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    India should select based on the conditions as rightly pointed out by sunny. It is unfair to be critical of raina who after playing almost a decade in the lower batting position is expected to bat responsibly at No.5. It is a mistake by MSD to try to teach new tricks to a old pony at this point. Raina needs to bat lower down where he is comfortable - at hitting out getting quick 40s or 50s, but he is not a finisher. In fact outside india both jadejas and rainas batting skills can look similar! For the WC 2015, india need to go with one spinner (jadeja) who is economical and one more extra batsman who has sufficient international exposure (gambhir) . bringing inexperienced player at this point will not serve the team for the WC2015.

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    India is essentially playing with only 5 batsmen, that is why they are failing outside India. I have said this time and again, both Raina and jadeja can't be in the same team. Outside India, in my opinion, both of them should not be there. And you have to, have to bring Pujara into the one day side. Ideally I would prefer Rahane opening the batting with Dhawan(primary reason being Rohit can just get lazy sometimes and nick it whereas Rahane is much more solid). Puji, Kohli, Rohit/Rahane, Dhoni/ and then Binny should be given a chance with his bowling as well and then Ashwin/Jadeja, and the fast bowlers. In conditions like Aus/NZ i.e world cup, Raina and Jadeja are walking wickets. Might score a quick 30 odd but will eventually get bounced out. And remember they are not that good on the front foot against the seaming/swinging as well. Its like catching practice to either slips or fine/square leg.

  • YogifromNY on January 24, 2014, 15:05 GMT

    Were it not for Dhoni's having so much faith in him - misguided as it is especially outside the sub-continent - Raina would not have played even 50 matches, let alone close to 200. He has kept out other, MUCH more technically adept batsmen like Dinesh Karthik out of the team. Definitely agree that for the WC, DK should be in the team - most likely at the expense of Nohit Sharma - and Stuart Binny for Raina.

  • luv_indo.cric on January 24, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    considering 2nd odi i think raina good enough to give another chance...raina's promotion to no 4 position and 5 is not a selection he is a player who can play as glenn maxwell.coz they don't need a settling time.dhoni is the best for no 5.coz he can built a partnership with kohli most probably and acclerate innging with raina.problem is for opening pair.shikar is getting pressure with rohit.so rahane and shikar need to be open coz rahane know to rotate strike well.and a problem occur to no 4 position and the suggetion is rayudu...raina doesnt affect with bouncer when he @no 6,the history tells that when looking at eng in india series .

  • wolf777 on January 24, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    Raina is a softy… he is not mentally strong enough to take body blow and return the fire with the bat…as soon as short pitch stuff starts, Raina retreats for good…

  • inswing on January 24, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    Raina is very valuable in India, where even bouncers come at a slower pace off the pitch. Outside India is is practically worthless, just like Ashwin. The obvious thing to do is to have Rohit at no 5 and have Pujara open.

  • gdalvi on January 24, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    I wonder if it makes sense to move more technical players at top to lay foundation and have hard hitter in lower order? Open with Pujara and Rayadu/Rahane and keep Dhawan in end. My XI - Pujare, Rayadu, Kolhi, Rahane, Dhawan, MSD, Binny, Rasool, Bhuvi, Aaron, Shami

    I think have 2 allrounder - Binny (although I would have always preferred Irfan), and Rasool would really help - like Shashtri and Kapil. Eventually, I expect Gambhir to come back to team replacing Dhawan.

  • A.Ak on January 24, 2014, 14:23 GMT

    Raina is not a big scoring guy, but he has proved many times consistently when aggression needed by no.5 or build the momentum. He dont need time to settle like few other team mates. Also he never failed on the field and very handy with the ball. When talented failures got so many chances, why not keep a proven talent like Raina?. I think its time to swap and keep one spinner Ashwin/Jadeja, Rayudu who is capable and very eager to perform. And we had enough of RSharma, he hasn't proved anything consistency outside IPL.

  • Ashofalltrades on January 24, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    The article hits the nail right on the head. Raina has somehow managed to ingratiate himself with the selectors and Dhoni. Multiple failures and obvious weakness againt the short ball, he is certainly not a #5. A flat track bully who shows his stripes when he dorns yellow for CSK seems to be his claim to fame. Well said.

  • vagee on January 24, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    I like the idea what @vrkp says.... I ll just like to make very small changes what he has suggested. Like @vrkp, I too would like to stress that this will happen only when MSD drops his ego, favoritism and pick players by merit.

    MY team for tomo s match with the current squad : R.Ashwin, S. Dhawan, V. Kohli, A. Rahane, A. Rayudu, M.S. Dhoni, S. Binny, R. Jadeja, V. Aaron, M. Shammi, U. Yadav

    MY team for future matches : D. Karthik, A. Rahane, V. Kohli, C. Pujara, A. Rayudu, M.S. Dhoni, S. Binny, Rishi Dhawan, R. Jadeja, V. Aaron, M. Shammi.

    Bench : R. Ashwin, P. Rasool, U. Yadav, Manish Pandey / V. Zol

  • on January 24, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    dont know why dinesh karthik was replaced as batsman? and raina surely cnat play

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    my XI for next ODI Dhawan, Rohit, Virat, Rayudu, Dhoni, Rahane, Binni, Misra, IC Panday,B kumar, Shami

  • vrkp on January 24, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    No, is he not. At best, he could be the best '12th Man' because of his fielding skills.

    but compared to Jadeja's and Rohit batting, he is better.

    I think Raina can still play a part in the ODI setup but he should never above 7 in away matches.

    This will be my XI with the present squad in NZ:

    Ashwin, Dhawan, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Raina, Bhuvi,Jadeja, Shami, Aaron. Ashwin bats better than many of the more flashy batters in our current team esp. against pacers.

    with this team, you have 4 pacers/fast medium and two full time spinners, two part time bowlers (kolhi & Raina), and reasonable batsmen upto 9.

    Also, we should promote Bhuvi above Jadeja in the batting order.

    This will be my XI if Dhoni drops his ego and selection is based on merit only:

    1. Ashwin, Dhawan, Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Raina/Jadeja, Bhuvi, Shami, Aaron/Yadav.

    in the squad: DK (either as an opener or middle order), Amit mishra, Pandey

  • getgopi on January 24, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    @CricketMaan: Fully agree. I think your analysis is spot-on. Raina can play the short ball. He did it pretty well in the 2nd ODI with that tough attitude you mention. His hooks were perfect. But, like you said, if he doesn't play with that attitude, he will be "perceived" as not being able to play the short ball. Attitude feeds intent and the shots will flow.

    Tendulkar took it on the body until the fear went away. So wear chest pads, arm guards, etc. I would say India's batsmen have a great opportunity in this series to try all that out.

    Kohli perfectly described his approach to the shot ball. The batsman will want to hit it. Except, in Kohli's case, his "move forward a bit" ploy, while providing a solid base to instantly duck underneath the ball (he only has to flex his knees a little bit more), means he will pull more often than hook.

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    There is bunch of proper batsmen waiting outside. Give an opportunity to Rayadu, Manoj Tiwari or pull Sharma down and replace with Gambhir or U. Chand.

  • sreni on January 24, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    Need to bring in Pujra for Raina / Rohit. Binny for Ishant surely. I suppose Binny is much better batter than Ishant and anyone today can bowl better than Iscant + fielding.

  • _Oracle_ on January 24, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    I believe Raina shouldn't even have played 50 games let alone 175+. Dhoni favors him a lot. It was amazing that just few months ago Dhoni was talking about trying Raina for #4 when he can't even justify his place for #5. I think, Yuvraj is just out of form. He will come back for world cup barring Dhoni getting in the way, which is likely because Dhoni seems to be threatened by seniors who can challenge his captain-ship (i.e. Yuvraj, Gambhir, Sehwag.. etc). I believe, Pujara and Raydu deserve chance in ODI. Even with all these, the real problem in Indian cricket is bowling and that needs to be fixed first.

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    Team India surely need to look past Raina. He is a brilliant no. 6 or no. 7, he is a better option for these 2 spots than Yusuf or Jadeja both of whom bat like Harbhajan used to do at no.8. No. 7 is an important position and Raina is perfect for that role given that he brings some extra-ordinary fielding into the game.

    As far as the openers are concerned, they should be given some more time before being put into pressure.

    Coming to spots no. 4 and 5, Pujara, Rahane, Gautam, Karthik, Rayudu all would provide stable options for sure. Also having Rahane and Gambhir in the team would push the openers to perform better.

    In the bowling department, PLEASE GET RID OF ISHANT SHARMA. He's pathetic. We need a settled pace quartet. Bhuvi, Shami, Umesh, Aaron we need to nurture these along with some incomers like Pandey and Mohit.

    As far as the spinner is concerned Jadeja and Ashwin should be competing for a single spot along with Ojha and Rasool.

    Decisions need to be taken.

  • Hunters77 on January 24, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    I agree Binny would be an excellent choice at no.6 he is attacking, India need to mould a quality all rounder, Binny given match practice could fill a role like Kapil Dev did in the 80's and 90's. How long will Dhoni allow us to be the laughing stock of world cricket by making the world believe Raina and Rohit are the best batsman India have to offer and Ishant (chuckle chuckle) is India's no 1 strike bowler? Putting Binny, Arron, Pandey in at the World Cup is unfair on them Dhoni they need these games to help them feel the waters.

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    when u r playing outside sub continent u need solid players like pujara & rahane. Raina/Jadeja should play at 7/8.

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    India cannot afford another slow Dravid: Pujara ......with bowlers leaking 7 rpo every match

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    Where is Youvraj Singh ?. Being a Pakistani fan, i have loads of respect for Youvraj Singh. His range of shots and timing are excellent. For me he should be in indian team for at least good 2/3 years. Such a massive talent !!1

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    @ Deena Dhayal .....Dravid was a big liability putting SR pressure on all others.......Only since Ind got rid or slow Dravid India began winning any major tournaments: VB series 2008, WC , ICC champions trophy................Kohli has shown how to Anchor the inns with 50 avg & 85 SR & 18 100s, not like pathetic Dravid with 69 SR & 39 avg & only 10 100s.........Even Sachin did middle middle order anchor batsman's role much better than Dravid with 42 avg at 84 SR.............Dravid could never win a match & got only 14 Man of the Match (MOM) awards.........Kohli already has 21 & Sachin had 65

  • ramli on January 24, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    If Raina is not the best player at No. 5, then who is the best? The article is silent on that, why? IPL has divided the fans based on clubs and any move by the captain to back a proven player to bounce back is viewed with suspicion.

  • on January 24, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    It doesn't matter. His place is reserved in Indian team after all. No matter how many times he fails to perform, no matter how many times he throws his wicket in crucial moment, he's an automatic selection inside the team for some reasons. I think he has played close to 200 matches and is yet to perform consitently, and he hasn't cemented his place yet if you ask to me. Its a huge disappointment for a guy who has played near to 200 matches.

    I still think Yuvraj should be considered for No. 5 at least if not No. 4, he's a way better finisher/match winner/hitter than Raina during last overs. No.4 can be shared by Rahane/Pujara.

    P.S. - Drop Ishant Sharma already for Jesus Christs sake!!

  • ramli on January 24, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    Change the team ... very easy to say ... and who are the replacements? Those who are equally inconsistent or out of form? That is not the change to benefit the team. It just adds to the woes. Raina may be better suited for T20 brand of cricket but the suggested replacements are not better either!!

  • soumyas on January 24, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    It's time to move on from repeatedly failing dhoni's FAV-5 players Raina,Jadeja,Ishant,Rohit,M.Vijay....It' time for talents like Pujara,Rayudu,Binny,Yadav... Also time to get Gambhir back in team, he deserves his place back, he was like a warrior, he always fought hard for India, even in 2011 WC finals, he was the one who laid the batting platform, unluckily missed out on hundred, I don't remember when Gambhir failed enough which costed him his place team. When he failed everyone else also failed, he became a scapegoat. So Gambhir,Pujara,Rayudu,Binny,Yadav deserve a place more than anyone. they can become FAB-5 players for India, not like FAV-5 of some IPL team.

  • sergio11 on January 24, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Just saw the allround effort from Ben Strokes...Jadeja is a bataman wasted at number 7..if he is consider as a batsman by virtue of scoring those big triple tons..them number 7 is not the place for him...he is not a power hitter more of a timer and need time to build an inning..i remember his 60 odd runs against ENG in Kochi..first 10 balls scored just 2 or 3 runs then when dhoni went he unleashed..but unfortunatly situation he comes to bat is asking too much from him...he cannt muscle the ball to the boundary like a dhoni or a Albie Morkel..so if Ind really need a player like a Stokes,Jaddu must bat up the order..yes he too hav prob with pace and bounce...bt if u can give chance to Raina again and again why not a few to jaddu??if he clicks ind wil have a genuine alrounder..i think its a gud opionion..Jaddu at 5..yeaa why not...

  • pitch_curator on January 24, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Dont know why Pujara never gets a lookin as he seems very accomplished against the faster bowlers. India dont have a problem with the runrate as they have Kohli at the top and Dhoni at the lower middle to keep up with any asking rate. What we lack is stability in #4 and # 5 to set up a game and take it to the 40th over - especially in overseas conditions. Don't know why we don't try more solid batsmen like Pujara or Tiwari. As far as Binny goes, I think we need to bring Irfan back as he is better than Binny and can take the new ball with reasonable success. At least he is a hundred times better than Ishanth and bats a million times better than him. Hope he gets picked for CSK in this IPL as that seems to be the only way he can make it to the Indian team.

  • ProdigyA on January 24, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Is he India's best no. 5? Is Rohit the best opener? Is ishant the best bowler for india? Is Ashwin the best spinner? Is jaddu the best allrounder?

    We will never ever know because others don't get a bloddy chance to prove themselves.

  • India_Keep_Roaring on January 24, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    request for cricinfo to put up a statistics of Suresh Raina from Jan 2011 to Jan 2013. Number speaks for themselves.....

  • goldenpower on January 24, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Gambhir is best Opening Batsman,Compare to Dhawan& Rohit Opening

  • anvesh4444 on January 24, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    i think Raina dont deserve to be in the team, he is in the team because of Dhoni and CSK but i can confidently say that Raina is better batsman than Uthappa, Yousaf pathan, Dinesh karthik, Binny and even Manoj Tiwary

  • on January 24, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    Dinesh Karthik is so much better than Raina! One can trust Dinesh Karthik to play responsible innings.

  • goldenpower on January 24, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    which batsman have 45+average in domestic List A Matchs,who are better for middle order batsman like Saurav Tiwary,KM Jhadhav, KL Rahul, PA Reddy,Saha,Pujara,Mukund,

  • on January 24, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    When Dravid succeeded both in ODIs and Tests why not Pujara? Please bring into the ODI mix whithout which India might face a big time failure in World Cup. Make Rohit and Raina play only in India. Dont take them out of sub continent

  • fguy on January 24, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    forget 30 for 3 i wouldnt trust him even at 300 for 0.

    forget all-weather man, forget fair-weather man, he's NO-weather man

  • Venkiwaran on January 24, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    Only the Captain knows how this guy has stayed so long in the Indian team. He will continue to wear the blues until Dhoni is the captain. It's pathetic that quality players of fast bowling like Dinesh karthik and others are sitting at home while this mediocre player finds a place in the playing 11 the last many seasons. And all Indian fans are subjected to the specter of this guy being systematically bounced out regularly. DK did pretty well in England and his overseas performance has always been good. But I guess, he is still perceived as a threat by the powers that be. God save Indian cricket!

  • on January 24, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    @Deepak kumar have u ever played cricket or do u understand the game. ur comment that rohit is fit to play only in india. how do u justify that rationally when the player in question has made a sterling debut overseas. And u seem to suggest that u r more intelligent than selectors & past players including sachin who hold him in high esteem bcos he is fit to play only in india. just take a break mate. just because cricinfo has allowed us to air our views, v should be pretty rational with our comments. our comments should be justifiable and fair to the game and players alike.

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    I think india already some experiments but i think give an opportunity to raina to open the innings and play some shots in the power plays.especially rohith is in out of form.move rohith to no.4 and when he came to bat normally got a settled partner like kohli,dawan or raina.that give some opportunity to him for spend some time at crease and make partnerships by taking singles.and replace binny with aswin and aaron with ishanth.so that will take the pressure of kohli and play some shots freely.so then dhony came at 6 or 7. if kohli still batting promote binny at 6 and wait to finish innings.so if he fails in the raina experiment then go with rahane and raina at no.5.because of binny in that will take the pressure of rohith and raina and just done like done in last match 35 from22.thats enough for win.

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    I think this article is pretty absurd on the count that its purely one dimensional- critical of raina for his weakness towards short-pitch. and to say that stuart binny is better prospect is pure nonsense. this guy has had few good matches in ipl. that's it. And every batsmen has got some weakness. even sachin was suspect for balls swinging on full-length at the start of his innings. I think raina's problem is mental rather than anything else. greg chapel held him in very high esteem. having said that- raina should guard complacency bcos india has got all way tours before WC 2015 except asia cup[if played]. so he's got no breather bcos bowlers's round the world will b breathing down his chest.

  • t20superstars on January 24, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    India hasn't won a single international game after the retirement of the great legend 'Sachin Tendulkar'. Sachin retired 2 months back and will no longer share dressing room with the team. Is this getting into the players minds when they walk out onto the field every time? Is the team missing out on the inputs given by Sachin? Is Dhoni waiting for Sachin to comment about his team selection and tactics on the current series, until he makes any change in the remaining ODIs?

  • balaji63 on January 24, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    in my view the best team is dhawan,pujara,kohli,rahane,dhoni,rohit/sanju samson,binny,jadeja,shami,bhuvi,varun

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    This article is a tad unfair on Rania. India's poor form is mainly due to their poor bowling. I agree the batting department is too dependent on Kohli to build and Dhoni to finish but if the team consistently leaks 290-300 plus runs in every single match its not fair on the batting unit to chase them, And chasing is what Dhoni will do every time when he wins the toss even if offered with a bouncy pitch. I think India did pretty well in the last match considering they have scored more than New Zealand and still lost the game. (DL Method??). In my opinion both Ishant and Ashwin to be replaced.

  • srujanchinni on January 24, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    i think yusuf pathan is very good option for no5 or 6 he will be dangerous wen he has time to settle

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Simple Answer:- Raina is India's worst no.5. He doesn't deserve to be in the team. Not a single good knock from this guy for ages and still in the team. What the hell? He might be good at IPL, but not at the highest level. His learning period is over. The guy has been around for a decade almost and all he can conjure up is 30s and 40s (at his best). Another example of a flat track bully (although he is failing to deliver on flat tracks too now) who cant face decent fast bowling, haven't learned how to play the bouncer. Its funny how he heaves the bat after taking the eyes of the ball when pitched short to this guy. Will never learn. Get rid of him. He doesn't belong to the highest league.

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    As per my knowledge, we need to remove Rohit sharma and give a chance to Pujara. because Rohit is fit to play only in indian pitches and is struggling in overseas (Poor Performace in SF & NZ). I request Dhoni to give a chance to IRFAN PATHAN or Roger Binny as an alrounder and play with one of the spinners (Jadeja or Ashwin) who can bat at some point of time. Coming to Number 5, Raina is struggling with his form currently, we need to wait till NZ tour to think about other person in this SPOT. We have few youngsters like, Zol, Samson....

  • vivekmalik1985 on January 24, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    And what the hell happened to Manoj Tiwari who hit a century in his last ODI?

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 24, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Robin Uthappa would be the best option at 5 perfect technique more improved/experienced and incredible finishing skills, he'd be in my India would cup side no question.

  • CricketMaan on January 24, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    In Raina's misery, everyone have forgotten that Jadeja was picked for his batting, although he is in the team now only for his bowling and fielding his batting has give away to poor strokes. Jadeja is going Irfan Pathan way! If only these knew how to balance both skills, India would have been richer with thier precense. What has Binny got in store?

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    NO point even discussing Raina or if he's good enough.

    The main problem with this side is the BOWLING

    Ashwin and Ishant are useless and can't get a wicket if their life depended on it. Rohit should also get dropped immediately. India only bats till #6.. after that its all bowlers who can barely bat. India needs to let go of Rohit, Ashwin and Ishant and get Rayadu, Binny and Aaron in

  • Leggie on January 24, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    Raina is certainly not India's best number 5. At best, he can be the best #7 - assuming that he plays the role of an all rounder. This may not be a bad strategy seeing how effective Jadeja or Ashwin have been in their roles in the last 6 months. India might as well change strategy to beef up its batting, play Raina at #7, followed by 4 bowlers.

  • CricketMaan on January 24, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Steve Waugh suffered form short stuff all his career! But he compensated that with tough attitude and a wide range of other strokes to become a legend. Short stuff is not everythign in cricket. As Dhoni said its in his mind and unless he overcomes it will be percieved that he cannot play. I have seen Raina hit some audacious shots against short stuff over the boundary, but he is not a good leaver and a compulsive puller which is what is undoing him. Pujara too was compulsive puller, but he has quickly learn to adapt and leave good ones. That is the difference when you play the long format, you keep learning allways.

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    @Arrow011: spot on. how could the writer say that binny is a better player than raina without even playing a single international match. I think binny is more like jadeja minus fielding not like faulkner or irfan pathan although i hope i am wrong.

  • sergio11 on January 24, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    now the remaining tours before world cup ind must experimnt few players...couple of batman at number 4 and 5...Robin Uttappa is a clean striker of the cricket ball...powerful guy can clear almost any ground with ease..Dinesh Karthik never had any prob with pace or bounce,Parveez Razool at 7 or 8,saurabh tiwary...lower done the order we need power hitter..wil all respect to jaddu..i dnt thnk he wil clear the big boundarys in AUS....plus Robin and Dinesh play Short ball relatively well....in bolwing Bhuvi is balling really well..but in AUS we dnt need a swing baller..yes..while playing in NZ we do..but not in AUS..those pitches offer less swing..so umesh,Aaron,Eshwar must be given chance..bt unfortuntly..Ind is nt learing from there mistakes..earlier we dont had any real quick ballers..now we have 2 of them..bt Dhoni wont use them..as an Ind fan wil be so disappointed if Ashwin and Ishant plays the next game...

  • LongLiveTestCricket on January 24, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Well it is this very attitude of Dhoni that has caused the team so much harm. He's struggled to put bat to ball at No. 5 and Dhoni somehow dreamt that he should make him No. 4. Quite bizarre and clearly a recipe for disaster.Just goes to explicitly indicate the level and conditions in a tournament like IPL where he is the king.He still doesn't understand that on most of the occasions his team has struggled to last 50 overs outside because of this kind of composition.He doesn't want Pujara maybe because of his fielding but that is something that can be worked upon.World class teams always had 1-2 batsmen who could play on every surface and hold innings together.One doesn't need to look far- Dravid turned out to be one of the great ODI batsmen in the middle order and provided great stability to the team.Atleast the team had one batsmen who won't get bounced out or exposed wherever in the world he'd play.But sadly Dhoni can't look beyond his IPL favourites.

  • on January 24, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    Don't worry about raina, atleast for 3rd ODI. He is INJURED so binny might replace him at 6.

  • barryrichardsfan on January 24, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Dhoni is quite capable of holding the innings and then building on. He has the reliability of kohli at 3 and needs another one at no 5 if an allrounder has to be drafted in the squad. My 11 is 1dhawan/utthappa/M.Pandey/Mandeep... 2rahane... 3kohli... 4dhoni...5rohit/pujara 6rayudu/s.tiwary/k.jhadav......7binny/r.dhawan/i.pathan/nayar.......8jadeja/mishra....9bhuvneshwari...10 shami...11umesh/aaron . MS please start developing a seam bowling all rounder like r.dhawan/binny/ or LR Shukla/Nayar who bats at no7, Sadly there are only a few in the domestic structure but you have to live with what you have, don't you. Nayar or even a Shukla , or a young one like Rishi Dhawan. With Jadeja at 8 and Bhuvi at 9 the tail also doesn't seen weak and turn out crucial contributors. Pujara can provide more assurance than Rohit any day. Dhawan needs to do some work on bulding the innings , so utthappa may be tried or some young kid like mandeep/Rahul/Samson/Pandey.

  • rajuramki on January 24, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    At the moment , Dinesh Karthik will be the best batsmean at No: 5 , certainly not Yuvaraj or Raina. Karthik has a sound defence and can be aggressive when required . I have no reason why he is not in the thuring party .

  • sergio11 on January 24, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    I am a big big raina fan..we al know the ability of that guy..bt all these abroad tour coming and world cup in AUS..i dont think Raina is the man ind should be playing at the present moment..Bt got to admit it batting late down the order is not a easy task..so even if he replace Raina now...i dont think that guy coming in wil get enough exposure to become a decent enough finisher for IND..and Jadeja coming at number 7..lower middle order look soo weak...if opener dont fire,,its almost game over from that point...the ideal thing to do is pick Pujara..slot him at number 3..so Kholi coming at 4 ,Rahane at 5, Dhoni at 6..Binny at 7 Jaddu at 8..we cannt pick a new guy and expect him to do wel al of a sudden in alian condition..Binny coming in means Ashwin out off the squard...plus Ishant...replace that guy..

  • Arrow011 on January 24, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    The article seems to be biased, why India need a pace bowling allrounder & without Binny playing even 1 match for India you want to say he is better a player than Raina? Raina is a selfless player, he has also taken so many blinder catches & also takes important wickets to break partnerships. Raina is the best No.6, Dhoni should always come at 5 as he has the best batting averages, if he comes at 4 it is even better for India.

  • fguy on January 24, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    forget 30 for 3 i wouldnt trust him even at 300 for 0. he's forget all-weather man, forget fair-weather man, he's NO-weather man

  • on January 24, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    @blade runner : if he is not batsman, then what about your legend whose average is way below raina's and strike rate is way below ashwin's??? lol..

  • mpho on January 24, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    Dhoni not taking new ball on time in the Durban test made India to loose.I am watching and supporting India from 1978 but have stopped supporting India after india winning World cup on April 2nd 2011 Saturday thanks to Dhoni.

  • on January 24, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Gambhir and Yuvraj should be brought back. Raina and Jadeja should be dropped, Yuvi is a far better bowler than Jadeja.

  • on January 24, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    Best No 5..hahhaha..he doesnt even deserve a place in the ODI side, esp outside Indian pitches. He is fighting his own demons and comes acros as a mediocre batsman outside the slow non bouncy indian pitches..Had he not been in CSK and one of Dhoni's personal choices for a settlement only they know, he should have been out a long time ago on foreign tours. More important questions would be, if few guys like Raina consistently fail over such a long period of time, and few other who are knocking the door for so many years at the prime of their form, what is stopping these idiots to give atleast 4-5 chances to someone else too...if not now then when? do they need rainas to make 20 scores of zero before he is shown the door? Now when rohit and shikhar are consistently failing for so many months outside the subcontinent, will the selectors recognize the value gambhir would have provided on these pitches with his experience? (ppl have easily forgotten the world cup contribution)

  • skabc23 on January 24, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    If want to be competitive enough for WC15, it's high time to change the team composition. Look at the present playing XI of Australia. It is full of all rounders. I think they will favorite with such a strong batting/bowling line up.

    India has to bring at least 2 medium pace all rounders, 2 fast bowlers, 1 spin all rounder.

    In my view, we can go with a team like- 1. Pujara 2. Rahane/Dhawan 3. Kohli 4. R.Sharma/Rayudu 5. Dhoni/Sanju Samson 6. Raina/Kedar Jadhav 7. Rishi Dhawan/Abhishek Nayer 8. Bhuvi/Binny 9. Jadeja/Parwez Rasool/Amit Mishra 10. Shami 11. Aaron/Ishwar Pandey

  • on January 24, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    Raina is no good outside the subcontinent ... he should be replaced by Rayudu.

  • Atish_Man on January 24, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    MSD please include Ishant. Its so fun to watch him. He is the rock of the indian team.

  • surag_av on January 24, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    I think Rahane should open the innings with Dhawan. Pujara should come in at no.4. Dhoni should come up the order and bat at no.5 . Rohit can be tested at no.6. If Rohit still continues to bat poorly at no.6 (In overseas conditions), he can be dropped and guys like rayudu be given a chance

  • on January 24, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    Please select pujara..he is far better batsman than people like raina...esp in subcontinent......

    Rahane needs extended run at number 4 position...he is the best bet....

  • cricketanand12 on January 24, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    I think you are new o cricket.Raina made hundred in t20i against SA.He plays every bowler well in IPL.He played well against PAK bowlers.Last year he played exceptionally well against england in home series.He can handle swinging conditions better than others.Last NZ tour he used to hit huge sixes and made many runs in both T20s and ODIs.I know he has not been in form for last 10 matches.This doesn't, mean he isn't a good batsman.ambati rayuud or binny have never been so consistent.He has only one problem I.e short ball problem. Be optimistic.motivate him and give him some more time.even miavhel hussey had only 3 centuries in hs ODIis carrier .

  • Blade-Runner on January 24, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    The right question should be if he is a batsman at all.

  • on January 24, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    @joseyesu : lol.... I have seen some fans wanted raina to open innings... you are one.of them.... raina is not.even eligible to play in any of no1 to no5 position....

  • on January 24, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    I would have.played jaddu at 5 and raina at 8 , trust me jadeja is much better batsman than what he has.made to look like...

  • maddy32 on January 24, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    i agree with anand ..pujara should be given a chance. if dravid can bat so well and for so long in the shorter format pujara certainly can who plays much quicker than him. he also plays short ball very well compared to raina which would be very useful in australian condition for the next work cup. hopefully selectors wake up and included him soon!!!

  • maddy32 on January 24, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    i agree with anand ..pujara should be given a chance. if dravid can bat so well and for so long in the shorter format pujara certainly can who plays much quicker than him. he also plays short ball very well compared to raina which would be very useful in australian condition for the next work cup. hopefully selectors wake up and included him soon!!!

  • ThePacifist10 on January 24, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    @joseyesu If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Kohli is perfect for the No. 3 position. Probably the best batsmen for that position in ODIs. Raina doesn't deserve a place in the ODI or Test team. Like Yuvraj, he is a T20 specialist; why else would he do so well in the IPL? Stuart Binny should come in. He can provide good backup to Shami and Bhuvi. Plus, his form in Ranji has been good. He can bat, as his stint with the Royals showed. I trust Dravid's judgement. He had spoken highly about Faulkner, Rahane and Binny. Look at the reputations the first two are building for themselves. Binny deserves a spot in the team, along with Pandey and Aaron, who must replace Ishant and Ashwin immediately.

  • RDBX on January 24, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    I think this is perfect opportunity to give a game or two to Rayudu, who similarly to Raina can score quick runs but he has better control against short bowling and he is a good fielder too. Also I think its just about time for MSD to think about having two spinners in the team or not, I think one of them can easily be replaced by Binny who can bowl bit of seam up deliveries and can contribute to the batting when some power hitting is required (Which seems to be lacking in current team).

    My team and batting order for following matches would be:

    1. Dhawan 2. Ajinkya Rahane 3.Virat Kohli 4. Rohit Sharma 5. Ambati Rayudu 6. MS Dhoni 7. Stuart Binny 8. R Jadeja/Ashwin 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Mohammad Shami 11. Varun Aaron.

    No place for Ishant in my team as millions of Indians would agree. This order and side looks far more competitive and capable then our present order and team.

    JUST A SUGGESTION THOUGH.

  • RahulFantasyCricket on January 24, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    @joseyesu: Without a doubt the craziest comment I've ever read. Not only is Kohli thriving from playing at No.3 and breaking all sorts of records, he also has the ability to play the short ball well. Raina, coming in at No 3, against swing bowling and almost certain to face a barrage of short balls, will wilt under the pressure.

  • Raggie on January 24, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Brilliant article but the question is will Dhoni read this? India need Rayudu or Pujara to be tested in his slot, he never helped the team by playing long innings when the team loses quick wickets at the top. It would have been a blessing in disguise for india had the X-ray showed he had suffered a fracture...

  • on January 24, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Give Pujara a chance selectors!

  • on January 24, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    pick irfan pathan as soon as he is fit

  • joseyesu on January 24, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Why not promote him to No.3 and Let Kohli bat the no.4.

  • hari_surya on January 24, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    Please Drop Raina, ashwin, rohit and ishant sharma, who all are not at all performing

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • hari_surya on January 24, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    Please Drop Raina, ashwin, rohit and ishant sharma, who all are not at all performing

  • joseyesu on January 24, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Why not promote him to No.3 and Let Kohli bat the no.4.

  • on January 24, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    pick irfan pathan as soon as he is fit

  • on January 24, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Give Pujara a chance selectors!

  • Raggie on January 24, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Brilliant article but the question is will Dhoni read this? India need Rayudu or Pujara to be tested in his slot, he never helped the team by playing long innings when the team loses quick wickets at the top. It would have been a blessing in disguise for india had the X-ray showed he had suffered a fracture...

  • RahulFantasyCricket on January 24, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    @joseyesu: Without a doubt the craziest comment I've ever read. Not only is Kohli thriving from playing at No.3 and breaking all sorts of records, he also has the ability to play the short ball well. Raina, coming in at No 3, against swing bowling and almost certain to face a barrage of short balls, will wilt under the pressure.

  • RDBX on January 24, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    I think this is perfect opportunity to give a game or two to Rayudu, who similarly to Raina can score quick runs but he has better control against short bowling and he is a good fielder too. Also I think its just about time for MSD to think about having two spinners in the team or not, I think one of them can easily be replaced by Binny who can bowl bit of seam up deliveries and can contribute to the batting when some power hitting is required (Which seems to be lacking in current team).

    My team and batting order for following matches would be:

    1. Dhawan 2. Ajinkya Rahane 3.Virat Kohli 4. Rohit Sharma 5. Ambati Rayudu 6. MS Dhoni 7. Stuart Binny 8. R Jadeja/Ashwin 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Mohammad Shami 11. Varun Aaron.

    No place for Ishant in my team as millions of Indians would agree. This order and side looks far more competitive and capable then our present order and team.

    JUST A SUGGESTION THOUGH.

  • ThePacifist10 on January 24, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    @joseyesu If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Kohli is perfect for the No. 3 position. Probably the best batsmen for that position in ODIs. Raina doesn't deserve a place in the ODI or Test team. Like Yuvraj, he is a T20 specialist; why else would he do so well in the IPL? Stuart Binny should come in. He can provide good backup to Shami and Bhuvi. Plus, his form in Ranji has been good. He can bat, as his stint with the Royals showed. I trust Dravid's judgement. He had spoken highly about Faulkner, Rahane and Binny. Look at the reputations the first two are building for themselves. Binny deserves a spot in the team, along with Pandey and Aaron, who must replace Ishant and Ashwin immediately.

  • maddy32 on January 24, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    i agree with anand ..pujara should be given a chance. if dravid can bat so well and for so long in the shorter format pujara certainly can who plays much quicker than him. he also plays short ball very well compared to raina which would be very useful in australian condition for the next work cup. hopefully selectors wake up and included him soon!!!

  • maddy32 on January 24, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    i agree with anand ..pujara should be given a chance. if dravid can bat so well and for so long in the shorter format pujara certainly can who plays much quicker than him. he also plays short ball very well compared to raina which would be very useful in australian condition for the next work cup. hopefully selectors wake up and included him soon!!!