Ajinkya Rahane v Suresh Raina

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Okay, turns out we do have something else to say. It’s to do with who’s a good batsman.

We don’t want this to become a Suresh Raina bashing thing, because we’ve a certain amount of time for him. He does certain things better than almost anyone. The issue is that many people confuse ‘certain things’ with ‘everything’.

You may not remember, but Suresh Raina played each of the Test matches the last time India toured England in 2011. We have no idea how this happened. If you slaved away in a lab, you’d do well to engineer a worse Test batsman for English conditions than Suresh Raina.

Here are his scores from that 2011 series. The miracle is that he made a fifty:

0, 78, 12, 1, 4, 10, 0 and 0.

If he didn’t nick one, you just bounced him out. It was easy, as the scores suggest. There’s no shame in that, because he shouldn’t have been playing in the first place. His selection was the crime, not his batting.

So who should have been playing? Well, Rahane, obviously. He too might have been crap, but at least he had a case for being there. In the 2010-11 season, Rahane scored 1,003 first-class runs in nine matches at an average of 83.58, making five hundreds. That same season, Raina made 144 runs in five matches at 20.57. He made one fifty.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – statistics and all that. But what you have to remember is that these statistics only support what is blatantly obvious to everyone: Ajinkya Rahane is a batsman who can adapt to different situations and different conditions, whereas Suresh Raina does ‘certain things’ very well.

Last time around, India picked a load of celebrities and got the shit kicked out of them. This time they’ve picked some proper cricketers and prepared them properly too. It is already a far better series.


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  1. Wise words, KC.

    I’m now going to check out this series in person for a couple of days.

    My match reports should be very revealing.

  2. That Indian batting lineup is starting to look terrifying again. If Kohli properly clicks in Test cricket, I struggle to see how you will get them out for less than 400 too often.

    Good work KC. Cricinfo are starting to get on my nerves – when I looked last night, there were 7 or 8 video reports (which of course randomly blare at you) yet only 2 written articles. Am I old fashioned for thinking that is piss poor?

    1. There’s an option to switch off autoplay on those, but it doesn’t seem to work. We frequently open multiple tabs and then have to play ‘hunt the video’.

    2. Pujara, Kohli and Rahane have always been good batsmen. The only real addition is Vijay, who seems to have found some form – Bhuvi’s not bad for a tail-ender, but still shouldn’t be troubling the English bowlers as much as he is.

      I don’t think Indian batting line-up has ever not looked… shall we say “challenging”. They do at least have one less proper batsman at the moment.

    3. Shikhar has a bit of flair, and can be exciting to watch if it’s his day. I don’t mind them giving him another match to make his case. If not there is Gambhir in the reserves, but I fear for his wafting outside off with an open faced bat. There is an opener for Karnataka, KL Rahul, who looks a good prospect, and I’d be surprised if their one-down, Karun Nair, doesn’t get a go at test cricket.

      Our real problem as always, is that we don’t have the bowling to win test matches.

    4. Yes Stos. Steve, KC, Balladeer (wonder if that means balls of a deer) and Nash “are must be joker”. All of them.

  3. Shikhar Dhawan may or may not be a test level batsman, Ravindra Jadeja surely is not. Still 4 out 6 is decent. Lack of batsmen has never been a problem, there are a few more decent ones playing at the FC level who can probably replace those 2 in the next 1-2 years.
    Bowling continues to be a problem overseas, I’m not sure there are any better bowlers at present. The team complicates it by not playing Ashwin (he’s better than Jadeja or Binny on present form). India’s first innings effort is going to look pretty sad once England reach 450-500 sometime tomorrow.

  4. The young Indian team is hungrier, that’s all. The one 3 years ago was just living on past glories and a World Cup high.

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