One of the torch bearers in the Indian fielding department in the last 14 years or so is the belligerent southpaw and the world cup winning member in Suresh Raina. The stylish left handed batsman who has played innumerable innings for India under pressure has been discarded from the Indian team for the past 3 years.
The lack of form and injuries were a hindrance in Suresh Raina’s career in the recent past but Mr.IPL is all ready to give it a one final shot before hanging his boots as he has been preparing rigorously to earn back a place in the Indian limited overs set up.
Suresh Raina himself being an acrobatic fielder in his career has praised the vice captain of the Indian team in the longer format of the game in Ajinkya Rahane. India had one of the best slip cordon in the world cricket when it was manned by Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman who were terrific slip fielders.
Ever since their retirement, India found another gem of a fielder who can replicate what Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman did over the years in Ajinkya Rahane. When the southpaw was asked to name the best Indian fielder, Raina replied with Ajinkya Rahane’s name as it was the least expected name with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli being the popular ones.
Ajinkya Rahane has better catching skills. I always love his positions while fielding. He has a different kind of power. His body can bend when he moves, that is very different from the rest . He is a very good slip fielder, he judges the batsman’s movement from behind and anticipates, which is very important as the distance is not much between the slip fielder and batsman. He also practices like that so it makes it easier during matches.
India had a flexible middle order when the likes of Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina were in the team which was a big advantage as the captain had the luxury to send the player that he wants according to the situation. Suresh Raina is one batsman who can bat anywhere in the middle order as he has the game to both attack and defend.
When asked about his unstable position in the team and the way MS Dhoni used him as a floater for most part of his career, Suresh Raina said
No, I never questioned him (MS Dhoni) about it. I remember during the 2015 World Cup he sent me higher up the order to bat and I got 70-80 odd in that game. Later that evening I asked him, how and why did you think of sending me that high up and he said because they had two leg-spinners bowling and he knew that I would play them better. Even now I think about those occasions.
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