Suresh Raina has been a huge disappointment for India in the ongoing Freedom Series against South Africa, as he has just scored three runs in the last three matches, which includes two ducks.
Despite such poor number of scores, MS Dhoni, the India skipper, has backed the left-hander to regain his touch, as the man from Jharkhand believes Raina's lack of runs has nothing to do with his form, but rather his time at the batting crease. The ODI and T20 skipper believes Raina needs to play a few more deliveries before he launches an attack. Raina has just played 10 balls against South Africa in the entire ODI series so far.
"More than the form he needs to give himself a bit more time. He's gone in and played the big shots. Whenever you go in you actually have more time than what you think. It's important for him to play a few deliveries," said Dhoni.
Raina bats in the middle order for India and he, quite often, comes in to bat when India are required to score at a quick rate, which is always a tricky situation, irrespective of the player. Even in the third ODI in Rajkot, Raina had walked in to bat, with India requiring around 78 from 49 balls on a pitch, which Dhoni believes was difficult to score quick runs on.
"It's not easy to straightaway play the big shots. He needs to give himself a bit more time as it becomes difficult to find people who can clear the big outfield. My personal feeling is he needs to give himself a bit more time and everything will be fine," added Dhoni.
Though Raina is one of the most senior batsmen in the team, it remains to be seen if the selectors decide to drop the left-hander for his poor performance in the series, as the India team is set to be announced for the remaining two ODIs.
However, it will be surprising if the selectors decide to axe Raina. There are not many potential contenders to replace the left-hander, but the selectors could have a rethink on Yuvraj Singh, who scored a big hundred for Punjab on Sunday in the Ranji trophy game against Gujarat.