Left-handed batsman Suresh Raina has not given up on the hopes of earning a recall to the national side as the southpaw believes that he can be the potential batsman for India's number four position. The middle-order woes have continued to haunt India and despite trying various combinations, the team has not managed to find a set batsman at the number four slot. While young Rishabh Pant has been given multiple chances to prove himself at the number four slot, he has failed to click on most occasions, prompting the management to think if he should be sent further down the order. Suresh Raina, who recently underwent knee surgery, aims to return to action and believes that he could be the answer to India's middle-order woes.
The left-handed batsman played his last ODI against England in July 2018 following which he was left out of the national side. Suresh Raina was once India's best number four batsman during MS Dhoni's captaincy and has amassed a total of 8392 runs in his T20 career. With two successive T20 World Cups coming up in 2020 and 2021, Suresh Raina is eyeing to make a comeback to the national side after a gap of almost a year. Speaking to a news publication, Suresh Raina revealed that he was confident that he could deliver as India's number four batsman just like how he had done so previously and laid out his plans to earn a recall to the national side by 2020. Rishabh Pant has been widely criticized after he has failed to fire for the Men in Blue at the number four slot and borne the brunt of many former cricketers for his loose shots on the field. However, Suresh Raina believes that the youngster appeared to be lost and was confused about the game and that a senior player should talk to him just like how MS Dhoni did with the youngsters.
Suresh Raina believes that former skipper MS Dhoni had a lot of cricket left in him and that he can prove to be a worthy asset for Team India in the 2020 World Cup. Suresh Raina said that MS Dhoni was still a terrific wicketkeeper and hailed him as the best finisher. 'Captain Cool' has been on a break ever since India crashed out of the World Cup following the loss to New Zealand in the semi-finals. While he recused himself from the tour of West Indies, the former skipper also chose to extend his break till December, giving the South Africa tour a skip. All eyes are now on MS Dhoni to see if he returns to action in December when West Indies tour India. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has chosen to criticize MS Dhoni for "picking and choosing series" and advocated in favour of selectors speaking to him about his future plans. "He shouldn’t be picking and choosing series," Gambhir told media persons on the sidelines of a promotional event in Delhi.
Raina, who has played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, last represented India in July 2018 in an ODI against England at the Leeds. "The issue began way back. It was 2007 when I underwent my maiden knee surgery and later, I was back on the field, giving the game my 100%, all thanks to my trainers & doctors. However, a nagging discomfort returned last couple of years. During the episodes of niggling pain, to avoid any impact on my game, my trainers kept me going and helped me a lot in training my muscles well so that it would take the load off of the knee," revealed Raina. He thanked his doctors, family and friends for standing by his side. "I am out of surgery and healing steadily, for which I thank my doctors, family, friends, and everyone who has wished me good health & speedy recovery."