Suresh Raina analyses difference between current and his generation of Indian teams
- India won the 2007 T20 World Cup under the leadership of MS Dhoni
- Raina was part of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning team
- India made a group-stage exit from the 2021 World T20
Former India and Chennai Super Kings talismanic batter Suresh Raina went unsold in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 auction. Raina has been one of the finest middle-order batters for both India and Chennai Super Kings in the last one and a half-decade. Raina, in an interview with The Indian Express, pointed out the reason behind India’s group-stage exit from the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE. The former left-handed batter said the presence of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh made big difference in India’s victory in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.
"I think this is why we won the 2007 World T20, the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. When I started in Ranji, I remember our coach Gyanu bhai (Gyanendra Pandey) would always tell us, ‘you should bowl.’ It gives a captain the ability to get in eight-ten overs if he has a sixth or seventh bowling option, when he is playing only five bowlers. That is good planning."
“So you see Viru paa (Sehwag), Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan and me, including in the 2011 World Cup, all would bowl,” said the veteran cricketer.
India lacked sixth bowler’s option
Raina said not having the sixth bowling option in the current setup is the main reason behind the team's poor show in UAE last year. India made a group stage exit, losing to Pakistan and New Zealand.
“When we lost in the Champions Trophy (2017), or even recently in Dubai (in the T20 World Cup), we did not have a sixth bowling option. Now Shreyas Iyer is working on his bowling, I think he should keep working hard. Rohit will have a good option then.”
“In the South Africa series, recently, Aiden Markram was bowling six-eight overs upfront, and the main bowlers were coming in later. This is a big factor for the Indian team. Suryakumar Yadav can bowl as well. Even Rohit would bowl before his injury. So someone will have to step in, and bowl at least six-eight overs regularly in nets,” he further stated.
Raina also said that batters should put in extra efforts to contribute to the side with the ball.
“Batsmen should definitely work on their batting but they need to come in early or stay back for half an hour for the nation (to bowl a bit in the nets). They will have to like that process. Once you start liking it, you will not go away without bowling five-six overs,” said the former Chennai Super Kings batter.