Chennai, March 16: As is quite obvious with India's late collapse against South Africa and its laboured chases versus Ireland and Netherlands in the World Cup 2011, all is not well with the Indian batting line-up.While the openers have done a remarkable job with either Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag shining through, the middle-order's performances leave much to be desired.
And so the spot-light falls on disused Indian southpaw Suresh Raina. So far his only appearances in the Indian squad have been as a substitute fielder and he hasn't disappointed, taking a couple of fabulous catches as that minimal role has afforded him. Now, the time seems ripe to give him a chance with the bat as well.
He was initially overlooked due to the rise of Virat Kohli who vindicated his includion with sensational century against Bangladesh in the World Cup curtain-raiser. One could say he has also been edged out by a resurgent Yuvraj Singh, who has shone with both bat and ball. But the failure of Yusuf Pathan to live up to expectations as the "Butcher from Baroda" in the Cup so far, might present Raina with a route back into the team.
After all, Raina is a proven player and a genuine match-winner. His figures speak reams about his capability. And a player who has notched up 2,369 runs from 111 one-day encounters means that he can not be ignored any longer and should get a World Cup game, as crucial as the prospective fixture might be.