The All-India senior selection committee has named Suresh Raina as Ambati Rayudu's replacement in the Indian ODI squad for the tour of England. Rayudu, who played a crucial role in leading Chennai Super Kings to win their third Indian Premier League trophy, surprisingly failed the YoYo test.
Raina last played a One Day International match for India back in 2015 against South Africa, is set to don the blue colours once again. Raina was earlier on this year was named in the T20I series against South Africa where he made an impressive comeback with the bat, helping India win the three-match series 2-1.
Rayudu was selected for the tour of England after he produced some jaw-dropping and impressive performances in the recently concluded IPL 2018, failed the YoYo test which was held at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). (Also Read: Kohli clears test; Rayudu fails, set to be dropped from squad)
A lot of people were shocked as to how someone who has scored close to 600 runs in the IPL couldn't maintain requisite fitness standard within three weeks of the tournament's completion.
Incidentally Raina, who was one of the first players last year to have flunked the YoYo test (along with Yuvraj Sigh) a year back, comfortably cleared it this time round which rewarded him with a call for the ODI series.
The 31-year-old Raina, a seasoned campaigner of 223 ODIs with 5568 runs under his belt, is a part of the current T20 squad. He beat an in-form Rishabh Pant due to his vast experience.
Former India opener and cricket analyst Aakash Chopra also said that Raina won't be a bad choice.
If the team management is looking at a short term goal that is the World Cup in England next year, Raina is a good choice. Also if Hardik Pandya is your fifth bowler, then one among the top six would need to roll his arm over. Raina's handy off-breaks would help the team. Rishabh is a contender but then you already have MS and DK in the side, Chopra opined.
Former India stumper Deep Dasgupta thinks that a left-hander is a must in the middle-order and it could have been Raina or Krunal Pandya but the UP left-hander scored because of his experience.
I think apart from Shikhar, I would love to see another left-hander. It could either be Krunal or Suresh but Suresh has more experience. My logic is that each and every team would have a leg-spinner in their side. So a left-hander for me in middle order is a must.
It is an added advantage that Suresh is a handy bowler. But had Kedar been fit, the selectors wouldn't have possibly looked anywhere else, Dasgupta added.
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Rayudu's YoYo Test failure has come as a shock for many, especially after a successful IPL campaign (602 runs) with Chennai Super Kings. Rayudu scored a dismal 14 in the test with qualifying mark being 16.1.
It has been reliably learnt that team management and selection committee were "not on the same page" with regards to Rayudu's possible replacement.
There is a section in BCCI which even feels that Ajinkya Rahane's limited overs case has not been handled well by the selectors and the current team management (skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri), a senior BCCI official told PTI today.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma, who had taken permission from the BCCI to skip the June 15th YoYo test on that particular day, will appear for the same at the NCA tomorrow.
Rohit had taken permission from the BCCI for his personal engagements (he is in Russia as a brand ambassador of a watch company). There's no rule that all tests have to be conducted on the same day. He will be appearing for the YoYo Test on Sunday, GM (cricket Operations) Saba Karim said.
India’s squad for ODIs against England: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
More to follow..