Indian selectors have named Suresh Raina as a replacement for the not-fully-fit Ambati Rayudu in their ODI squad for the England tour. Rayudu was earlier named in this ODI squa. However, he failed to clear the fitness test at the NCA in Bengaluru on Friday (June 15) followed by the wicketkeeper batsman losing his place in the squad.
Clearing the yo-yo (fitness) test was made a mandate by the BCCI to play for India at the International level. In the recent past, Mohammad Shami lost his place in the one-off Test squad against Afghanistan and so did Sanju Samson in the India ‘A’ squad after both these players failed to clear the fitness test.
On a lighter note, Yuvraj Singh is yet to clear this yo-yo test, which is why Indian selectors are not considering him even though he had scored some runs at the Ranji level in the past few years.
Raina last featured in an ODI for India was against South Africa in the year 2015. This is the same 5-match series which India lost by 2 – 3 to South Africa. With scores of 3, 0, 0, 53 and 12 in that series, he did not get a chance to play in ODIs since then!
Raina has though featured in 27 T20Is since then with the Nidahas Trophy Final in March 2018 being his last International game in which he departed for a 3-ball Duck.
Ambati Rayudu has to consider himself unlucky for the fact that he has to wait a little longer to make his ODI return. He had a very fruitful IPL 2018 season with the bat scoring 602 runs in 16 games with a century and 3 half-centuries. Also, this is the first time he scored over 400 runs in a single IPL season, which has to be considered a massive achievement.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Suresh Raina as Ambati Rayudu’s replacement in India’s ODI squad for the series against England. The announcement came after Rayudu failed to clear his fitness test that was held at NCA, Bengaluru on Friday, June 15, 2018,” said BCCI in a media release.
However, it is not expected to be a walk in the park for Suresh Raina in the team selection. Having scored heavily in IPL 2018, Lokesh Rahul and Dinesh Karthik could book a direct place in the playing XI. While Suresh Raina and Shreyas Iyer will have to fight it out for the only other available place in the middle order.
The 3-match ODI series between England and India will be played in Nottingham (July 12), at The Lord’s (July 14) and at the Headingly (July 17).
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
** Image credits to Indian Cricket Team Updates