India in West Indies 2011 May 31, 2011

Opportunity for fringe players - Raina

ESPNcricinfo staff

The absence of several senior players for the upcoming tour of the West Indies provides an ideal platform for fringe players to shine on the international stage, Suresh Raina, India's captain for the limited-overs leg of the Caribbean tour, has said.

"It's a great opportunity for the youngsters who have done well in domestic cricket," Raina told the media ahead of the team's departure for the West Indies. "I am happy with the side, as we have some very good batsmen in Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, S Badrinath and Shikhar Dhawan, all of whom have done well in first-class cricket."

Raina, has led a similarly second-string Indian side in the past, for a tri-series Zimbabwe in May-June 2010, though India performed poorly on that tour, losing both matches against the hosts and one against Sri Lanka.

This time, India are without the services of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Zaheer Khan, who have all been rested, in addition to the ill Yuvraj Singh, and the injured duo of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir for the lone Twenty20 and the five ODIs that follow. MS Dhoni will take over the captaincy from Raina for the Tests, and Zaheer will return, but the other seniors will miss the Test leg as well.

Raina said he has learnt a lot about the art of captaincy from Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Dhoni, and was prepared for the challenge.

"West Indies have players like Gayle missing, but it will be a challenge for us," Raina said. "There's always pressure and we have done well under pressure. It's for us as players to execute the plans of the coach well. We have to play our natural game."

The tour will be the first assignment for India's newly-appointed coach Duncan Fletcher, who said he was a supporter of the rotation policy. "While I was in England [Fletcher coached England between 1999 and 2007], I started the rotation policy resting senior guys," Fletcher said. "I was heavily criticised by the English authorities. It's important to do that considering the heavy schedule. We need to look into the matter as we go into the future."

He said he looked forward to working with the youngsters, but cautioned against complacency. " Any team playing at home is difficult to beat. We should not be complacent. There is a lot of talent in India and my job is to prepare these youngsters.

"Yes, we would like to beat England in England and Australia in Australia. But the first job is the tour of the West Indies. It's very important not to look too far down the road. India have a plan to stay at the top. The young players have the potential and this tour will show the depth of talent we have."

He also said that the club versus country debate is something that just has to be dealt with. "That's the way it is in modern day sports. We have to ensure that all the players are fit enough."

India's tour of the West Indies kicks off with a T20 game on Friday in Port of Spain.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • venkatesh on June 3, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Kholi future of indian cricket team.......... BUT RAINA Shining Future of Indian Cricket.

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    i think manoj tiwary should play...good chance for him!

  • cool on June 3, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    If WI win the series it will be eye opener for BCCI against IPL..IPL is good but the number of matches should be reduced to 35 rather than 74.Come on give some breath to the players.After all they are human beings like us,NOT MACHINES,,

  • Vivek on June 2, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    ODI XI: 1.Parthiv Patel(WK) 2.Shikhar Dhawan 3.Virat Kohli 4.Rohit Sharma 5.Subramaniam Badrinath 6.Suresh Raina(CAPTAIN) 7.Yusuf Pathan 8.Harbhajan Singh 9.Ravichandran Ashwin 10.Praveen Kumar 11.Munaf Patel TEST XI: 1.Abhinav Mukund 2.Murali Vijay 3.Rahul Dravid 4.Virat Kohli 5.VVS Laxman 6.Subramaniam Badrinath 7.MS Dhoni(WK & CAPTAIN) 8.Harbhajan Singh 9.Zaheer Khan 10.Sreesanth 11.Pragyan Ojha THESE 2 SIDES CAN DESTROY THE WINDIES!

  • abilash on June 2, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    when will rahane get a chance?? atleast he should have been playing the test matches in the absence of sachin & pujara!!! donno why selectors are trying to put the pressure on young kohli & raina, they are in the test squad too after the long world cup, ipl & the t20 one-day series in WI. Missing S.tiwary & uthappa in the one day squad. Its time for RP & IRFAN to make a comeback..... anyways good team expect the inclusion of a few overrated (2 or 3) players which the SC does regulary.....

  • Raj on June 2, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    Good selection. Rahane will get chance and prove his worth and displace R Sharma one day. God only knows how R Sharma been selected again and again after 70 matches?

    I am sure R Sharma play all matches in ODI and doubt Badri will get chance to play in ODI, if he get chance, he scores and then he will be booked in test playing XI, which automatically make Raina to be on bench. I am sure Raina will not allow to that happen.

    Once, there were 4 middle orders batsman competing for places: Kohli, Raina, Sharma & D Karthik. D Karthik is gone, next R Sharma, somebody has to remove him from squad..this is good for Indian cricket. Raina escaped with his performance at WC. Look at his last 2 years ODIs, it is too horrible. Only V Kohli best out of all 4s.

  • subhash on June 2, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    I am happy that now we give a chance to youngsters n look forward to a future team for india, its always good,to bring in the best n see what is in store for us.Thanks to senior players for taking rest.Change is a spice of life.n cricket is a major part of Indians life.

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Inthe absence of the senior players will riana be able to maintain the team through the match though there are many players he has never played with the new players

  • Chandramohan on June 2, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    This time around, I think Raina will WIN for INDIA. I feel Badri will be the player to watch in the whole series. Some body here are saying the selection as wrong, I totally disagree. Because, we have won the WC, with the team that the selectors have given us. Also many countries have either rev amped or sacked their committee. So, I feel this team will come good in all formats, and as Srik tells, the victory march should continue. GO INDIA GO!!! ALL THE VERY BEST TO TEAM INDIA.

  • Amardeep on June 2, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    @ sehwagologist, one isolated example proves nothing. How do you it didn't occur off camera? Just because you didn't see it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. @Blake Houston, I could have written your post because I agree with every point you make :). @ rustyryan, what's need for state bias? Look at the records of those three players you mentioned. Jaffer has been amongst the giants of Ranji batting, Agarker was fastest to 50 wickets in ODIs and Rohit has an average of 60 in domestic. Claiming selector bias for Mumbai is illogical with Rahane being snubbed.

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