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Perception is Reality...NOT

by Mahek

Another batting collapse, another final lost. Some things never change. Neither do perceptions. Ever since Suresh Raina was bounced out at the Twenty20 World Cup he has been said to have found out. So much so that the experts seem to think Raina comes in a Buy One Get One Free deal with Nohit Sharma. So when Raina did his best to bail out his team with a back to the wall hundred, this is what cricinfo had to say,

"Nothing has gone right for Raina ever since the Twenty20 World Cup when he was grounded by the bouncers. Word caught on and even domestic bowlers started to serve the short stuff. Humiliation was at his door step. Raina went for advice to the likes of Rahul Dravid, sought out Gary Kirsten, faced throw-downs, faced balls blasted from tennis racquets, but it is not an ailment that vanishes overnight."

Notice how the enlightened souls at cricinfo haven't provided any evidence to suggest Raina getting found out. Well, lucky for you someone decided to check up on how the batsman has performed during the said period.

Let's see...an average of 45.75, strike rate of 96.99, five scores of fifty or more in sixteen innings. Tendulkar, Dhoni and Kohli are his only teammates who average higher during this period, and they all do it at a lower strike rate. In terms of consistency, only Dhoni and Kohli have a lower innings to fifty ratio.

Moving on to his middle order peers (Batting between number 4 and 7) in world cricket, Dhoni, Mahmudullah, Collingwood and Brendan Taylor are the only ones with a higher average than Raina. Again, none of them have scored as quickly as him.

Now, one can make arguments about the flat pitches he's batted on but his teammates batted on those same pitches. More importantly, all the evidence points to India finding a reliable and devastating batsman in the middle order and not to someone who is a sitting duck. But pointing it out isn't going to get people to read or talk, is it? So let's just continue the myth that Raina hasn't been cutting it since he was "found out".

9 comments:

Naked Cricket said...

Off topic: Amongst all those numbers, I see Praveen Kumar's runs, strike rates add that to what he brings as a bowler and he's still not good enough for the team.

Numbers aside, what I remember is the SRT 176 game he didn't close, and today's last 5 overs he let go off. Once expected a lot from him, now I just watch.

For me, this is still not Raina @100% - whether he gets there, will define what sort of player he becomes.

But that cover drive sure was something.

Mahek said...

Well, SRT himself didn't close out that game so what are we getting at? The argument I'm making is for Raina to be anything but being in a funk since the Twenty20 World Cup. He's left a lot to be desired but he's nowhere near the failure he's being made out to be by the so-called experts.

pRAFs said...

it's not actually the so called failures of raina that are frustrating, it's what has happened to his batting.
had a beautiful back foot punch cover drive once,
in fact, had a solid off side game.

may be the shift to the lower order made him try to play the power game a bit too much.

but yesterday's batting did show glimpses of the raina of old.

Mahek said...

Prafs,

He was a predominantly off side batsman when he came in. In fact, he was doing it even in the last season of the IPL. Then they started bowling short to him and kept a tight line so he's had to play more on the on side.

I too hate it when he tries to drag balls from outside off to midwicket, but a change in his batting style isn't the same as struggling to score runs.

Want to see a batsman truly struggling against the short ball? Check out Ricky Ponting. I can't believe Aamer dropped that sitter at fine leg.

Rohit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rohit said...

Raina just doesn't provide an assurance when he walks into the middle. Neither does Yuvraj, but that's a moot point anyway. He seems to be the perfect sort of batsman to come in at 200/4 in 40 and blast away to 300+.

His technique seems a little loose at best, for want of a better word. Not taking anything away from his performances, though. He was superb in NZ and consistently gets quick 50's.

But the fact that it is the inexperienced Virat who is being consistently sent up the order shows that he has been shooed into the dreaded no. 6 slot, a la his state mate. In that position, he is never going to be given a chance to improve his average. Articles like the drivel up on cricinfo will continue.

The management has decided that his future lies there which is a little unfortunate for a player who was precocious enough to play for India at the age of 18. Somewhere along the line, he has lost his way.

pRAFs said...

yep,
for someone who had 'the' best pull and hook shot at one time, it's weird to watch ricky being uncomfortable against the short stuff.

w.r.t Raina,
he doesn't really have much hope of batting higher,at least in the current ODI scenario
SRT and Sehwag opening,
Gambhir, dhoni and yuvi playing musical chairs at 3, 4 and 5..
the kid should better get used to batting at the death.
it's a shame really, that he has been come to be thought of as a mindless slogger

it gets on my nerves that yuvi is considered so indispensable.

straight point said...

the first ball he played after reaching century with about more than 7 overs left defines the attitude and approach of raina...

Mahek said...

Rohit,

He's already improved his average by batting at number 6, and it's not just because of not outs. As for technique, it is only a means to an end. The end is scoring runs. Consistently.

SP,

I guess you just want to look at where he goes wrong. How about complimenting him for scoring a fighting hundred?