Suresh Raina says he can be India's no 4
Mumbai: Out of favour Indian batsman Suresh Raina still believes that he can make it to India’s limited-overs squad. The left-handed cricketer still hasn’t given up his hopes of playing at the much debated no. 4 spot.
The 32-year-old southpaw, who last played for India against England in 2018, is aiming to make a return to the national squad, especially when two successive T20 World Cups (2020 and 2021) are lined up.
In an interview with The Hindu, Raina stated, “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.”
The no 4 position became a highly debated topic, especially after the selectors and team management tried 15-16 players at no 4, but no one seemed to have cemented his place.
Since 2015 World Cup, India tried Ambati Rayudu for quite some time, just before the 2019 World Cup, until Vijay Shankar was passed on the baton to play at the spot, after Rayudu was overlooked for the World Cup due to his poor form.
After Shankar got injured, Rishabh Pant was brought in to play at the much debated place, but unfortunately, the 21-year-old seemed to have failed miserably at that position.
Despite Pant’s failure to prove his worth, the selectors have put enough faith in the youngster.
But, the left-hander has failed to repay the selectors, following which the young gun received harsh criticism from several quarters. Pant has been blamed of getting out cheaply.
Meanwhile, Raina, who amassed 5,615 ODI and 1,605 T20I runs, stated that the 21-year-old is confused at the moment and someone needs to have a pep talk with him.
“He appears confused, is not playing his natural game. He is looking for singles, blocking, and appears lost,” said Raina.
“Someone needs to talk to him as MS 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 stated.
Raina, who is touted as one of the most athletic fielders in the world, also said Dhoni still has a lot to offer to the Indian cricket team and he will be a valuable asset for India in 2020 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 concluded.