The BCCI recently announced its squad for the 2016 tour down under which involves a series of ODIs and T20 games and one name missing from the ODI squad was Suresh Raina. Raina has not been in the best of form and has had a lot of problems with the short ball, especially in conditions that offer a lot of bounce.
The selectors decided to drop Raina as they believe he could be targeted by the Aussie pacers with the short ball and that the tour down under was not the best place for him to try and find form. Raina who has always had the backing of Indian captain MS Dhoni will now have to go back to domestic cricket and make big scores if he wants to regain his spot in the ODI side.
Former cricketer VVS Laxman has been engaged in promoting India’s tour down under felt that the selectors have been too harsh with Raina and could have given him another opportunity as he felt the squad still lacked one quality batsman. Laxman said that Raina often had to come in during critical situations and throw his bat around and score at nearly 10 an over. Laxman stated that if India is to win the World T20 next year, Raina will have to pay a critical part and his axing from the ODI squad could push him to another level in T20 cricket as he looks to send a message to the selectors.
Laxman who has a great test record down under also had a few words of advice for the Indian team. He asked the bowlers not to focus on bowling short and bouncing the Australians as they have grown up on those tracks and know how to play short pitch bowling. Laxman also stated that if India is to have a good series down under, their top four batsmen need to stand up and deliver and gave them a few tips on batting strategy.
In a statement, Laxman said “In Australia, you cannot afford to play on the back foot with a straight bat. The bat face has to be pointing down. Otherwise, it will straight away go to the slip owing to the extra bounce and pace. It’s important to play with an angled bat. Also the general mistake that a young batsman tends to make is that he will get out to the back of the length delivery. But then, it is the fuller delivery, which gets the batsman out. The challenge is not to lose wickets early on”.