T20 World Cup 2020: The axed batsman was recently vocal about his desire to make a comeback into India’s T20I squad.
Much like former Indian cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir, axed batsman Suresh Raina has become the latest personality to comment on wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant’s poor form. In a recent interview with The Hindu, Raina was vocal about Pant not playing his natural game.
“He [Rishabh Pant] appears confused, is not playing his natural game. He is looking for singles, blocking, and appears lost.
“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 was quoted as saying.
Having failed to convert his potential into performance in limited-overs cricket till now, Pant has been severely criticized by both former cricketers and fans in the recent times.
T20 World Cup 2020
Raina, who last played for India during the tour of England last year, has expressed his desire to bat at No. 4 for India in the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. It is worth mentioning that Raina recently underwent a knee surgery and is currently recovering from the same.
“I can be the No. 4 for India [in T20Is]. I have batted in that slot before and delivered. I am looking forward to an opportunity with two T20 World Cups coming up,” Raina said.
Dropped from the T20I squad after home series against England at home in 2017, Raina was recalled before the tour of South Africa last year. Before getting dropped again, Raina scored 298 runs in 13 T20Is at an average of 27.09 and a strike rate of 143.96 including a lone half-century.
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) September 9, 2019
In 33 T20Is outside Asia, Raina has scored 803 runs at an average of 34.91 and a strike rate of 142.88 including one century and four half-centuries. While Raina is the second-highest run-scorer among Indian batsmen outside Asia, he has the best strike rate among Indian batsmen who have scored in excess of 500 runs outside Asia.
In 19 innings at No. 4 in T20Is, Raina has scored 423 runs at an average of 24.88 and a strike rate of 125.51. Having played 319 T20s (most by an Indian player) in his 13-year old career, Raina surely possesses the experience of batting in the middle-order. However, thing will predominantly depend on his current form in the times to come.