The first Indian to score an international hundred in all formats of the game, Suresh Raina, has been the symbol of consistency in IPL for Chennai Super Kings. He is also and called Mr IPL.
Raina who is recovering from a knee injury is eyeing on his comeback. Although he played his last match in July 2018 against England, where he scored 27 runs in the second T20 and scored 46 and 1 in the 2nd and 3rd ODI's respectively
Raina, in his latest interview with The Hindu, said "I can be the No. 4 for India. I have batted in that slot before and delivered. I am looking forward to an opportunity with two T20 World Cups coming up,".
Who would have thought that fastest to 5000 runs in IPL would be dropped from T20 just like that? With MSK Prasad as your selector and Virat Kohli as your captain, you just can't predict. the same happened in the squad for 2018 Asia cup, Where Raina was judged on the basis of just 2 innings he played against England.
Since then India has played 13 T20'S and the team management had shown a lot of faith in Rishabh Pant. However, Pant has not been able to justify his selection and is facing criticism for his rash shots. Selection committees are preparing back-ups for the young Rishabh Pant.
Raina who is called T20 specialist has played 78 international T20s where he have scored 1605 runs with an average of 26.18.
The 32-year-old UP batsmen is expecting to be back in action from November and is targeting the limited-overs return.
Before the England series, Raina played 3 T20 against South Africa the same year and scored 15, 30, and 43 respectively.
But this wasn't enough to satisfy our Captain Virat Kohli as he only seemed to be convinced with Pant's performance. Where Suresh Raina was dropped from the squad after playing 2-3 bad innings, Captain’s favourite and media made up player Pant has been given 13 consecutive T20 matches. Although he is failing to capitalize in each and every innings.
Raina in an interview also admitted that the young Delhite batsman is struggling a lot, with his poor show with the bat. He also feels that pant is confused, which is affecting his performance.
"He appears confused, is not playing his natural game. He is looking for singles, blocking, and appears lost, and someone needs to talk to him as M.S. Dhoni would do to players. Cricket is a mental game and Pant has to be backed to play his attacking brand of cricket. Right now he seems to be playing under instructions and it is not working,”. Raina told in an interview with The Hindu.
The left-handed batter, who is counted as one of the most energetic fielders in world cricket, also said r
that Dhoni has a lot to offer to Indian cricket and can prove to be a worthy asset for the team in next year's World T20.
"He is still fit, still a terrific wicket-keeper and still the greatest finisher in the game. Dhoni will be an asset for India in the T20 World Cup."
Raina's recent performances
1) In Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2018, Raina scored 259 runs in just 4 innings which included a wonderful century.
2) In IPL 2019, Raina scored 373 in 17 innings and was the 4th leading run-scorer of CSK.
Raina role is not finishing the game but absorbing the pressure after the fall of an early wicket and keep the scoreboard tickling.
If Raina makes a comeback in Indian team he will bring a lot of experience and maturity with himself and could be the biggest asset for team India.