New Delhi: At first glance, Suresh Raina's omission from the One-Day International squad for the tour of Australia looked like a bad decision from the national selectors.
Being dropped from any team is certainly a low point in any player's career, let alone a national team. But in reality, it could really proved to be a blessing in disguise for the left-handed batsman, who found himself struggling in recent outings.
There's no denying the fact that, Raina has been one of the mainstays of Indian batting in both the limited overs formats. But if we look at his recent stats, it's difficult to put up a strong case in favour of the 29-year-old, specially considering the array of talents available to replace him.
In his last ten innings, he has scored in the sequence of 65*, 7, 40, 34, 38, 3, 0, 0, 53 and 12. Looking at these numbers, one would surmised that one of the India's favourite player is certainly not in his elements.
Yes, it's not wise to drop a player of his talent at the drop of a hat, or in this case, when runs dried up; but it's also a good practice to rest, give some time for self-reflection to match-winners. It only rejuvenates.
And from the team's perspective, while he -- being an experience campaigner -- is being rested, young players can be tried out. That's how opportunities are created and talents are converted into future winners. Besides, there is no major tournaments around the corner.
Many expect the Uttar Pradesh captain to come back stronger, as he did in 2014 in England after being dropped for the Asia Cup.
Raina himself said, after scoring a ton in Cardiff, that he "analysed my game after being dropped from the Asia Cup. I was scoring 30-40 runs regularly but was not able to convert them into big scores. I was batting well but the conversion was a problem. So I played some domestic cricket and then did well in the IPL too."
He even "worked out with Pravin Amre, talked with Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly."
Despite not being a part of the ODI team, Raina will still be part of the Indian dressing room as he is in the T20 squad. It will certainly help him forsake any negative thought.
And instilling confidence on Raina is non other than the chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil.
"If we would have lost confidence in him, he wouldn’t have been in the T20I team also," Patil said.
A veteran of 223 ODIs and two World Cup campaigns, Raina should take the omission as a blessing in disguise and vow to return as the champion, that everybody knows.