Suresh Raina went unsold in the recently concluded IPL 2022 mega auction, but he still remains one of the finest white-ball cricketers of India. Raina played an important role in Team India’s victory in the 2011 World Cup.
In a recent interaction with The Indian Express at Idea Exchange, the veteran cricketer compared the MS Dhoni-led team with the current squad and also highlighted the main reason behind the poor performance of the Men in Blue in the previous edition of the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Raina explained the availability of players who can bat, and the bowl was the main reason behind India’s triumph in the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 50-over global event. He gave the example of Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, and himself.
“I think this is why we were successful in the 2007 World T20, the 2011 World Cup, and the 2013 Champions Trophy. When I started playing the Ranji Trophy, our coach Gyanu bhai (Gyanendra Pandey), would always tell us, ‘you should bowl.’ It gives a captain a choice to get a few overs from non-regular bowlers.”
“So you see Viru paa (Sehwag), Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan and me could bowl,” he added.
He wants players like Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav to contribute with the ball.
“We lost in the 2017 Champions Trophy and in the 2021 T20 World Cup because we didn’t had a sixth bowling option. Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav can roll their arms over,” he said.
He urged the batters to contribute with the ball as well. “Batsmen should also work on their bowling and once you start liking it, you will always like to bowl in the match.”