Praise for Suresh Raina ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX



Friday, May 25, 2007

Praise for Suresh Raina

Must be party time for the 20 year old Suresh Raina. I am a firm believer of his cricketing credentials and this bit of news about him did not surprise me at all:

The latest issue of the Wisden Cricketer clubs Raina with Australians Michael Clarke, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson; England’s Kevin Pietersen; Pakistan’s Mohammed Asif; Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga; West Indian Dwayne Bravo, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor and Bangladesh’s Mohammed Ashraful as the players who will define cricket’s next decade.

The writer says that Raina has the talent to be a left-handed Sachin Tendulkar with even more intuitive flair. “But he needs to be sensitively handled by India. The way he dismantled England during an ODI in Faridabad in March 2006 hinted at a rare genius, and Greg Chappell never stopped singing his praises. Aged 20, he has plenty of time on his side.”

I concur. He is a committed cricketer and an electric personality in the field. But above all he seems to be the kind of guy whom you can safely expect not to crumble under pressure because he obviously does not carry the 'star status' on his shoulders unlike some of the others in the Indian team. He is definitely another of the guys who are invariably going to shape a new, youthful, vibrant, positive Indian team in no less than two years from now. The others being Dhoni, Kaarthick, Zaheer, Sreesanth, Powar and maybe Yuvraj and Piyush Chawla too. Some other new entrants will come too and then we will have forgotten these dark days when the Indian team struggled to beat the Bangladesh team in a humiliating display of amateur cricket.
Now, Raina, I am sure, is more excited than he is willing to admit about the Wisden praise and has even vowed to keep up to the people's expectations

"Any such comparison with Sachin bhai is not only flattering but rather
intimidating. I know it's a huge task because he is simply from another planet.
Players of our generation idolise him. Still, I have age on my side and would do
whatever it takes to live up to people's expectation," the 20-year-old player,
recovering from a knee surgery, said.

But then the national selectors and the coach, whoever it will be, and the captain really need to realize their responsibility involved in keeping him as well as the other new talent in the same excited spirits as they are now. Treating them as they have treated Laxman and others in the past will only lead to more wasted talent as has happened so frequently in the past. Can these officials do it? That is the milion dollar question.

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