Bengaluru: With 2019 World Cup in mind, the Indian selection committee on Saturday brought back veteran left-hander Suresh Raina in the One-Day squad for the England tour, replacing Ambati Rayudu, who failed his fitness test.
The 31-year-old Raina, a seasoned campaigner of 223 ODIs with 5568 runs under his belt, is a part of the current T20 squad. He beat an in-form Rishabh Pant due to his vast experience.
Raina last played 50-over format in 2015 October and is making a comeback after two years and 8 months.
Former India players Aakash Chopra and Deep Dasgupta both felt that Raina is a good choice.
"If the team management is looking at a short term goal that is the World Cup in England next year, Raina is a good choice. Also if Hardik Pandya is your fifth bowler, then one among the top six would need to roll his arm over. Raina's handy off-breaks would help the team. Rishabh is a contender but then you already have MS and DK in the side," Chopra opined.
Former India stumper Deep Dasgupta thinks that a left-hander is a must in the middle-order and it could have been Raina or Krunal Pandya but the UP left-hander scored because of his experience.
"I think apart from Shikhar, I would love to see another left-hander. It could either be Krunal or Suresh but Suresh has more experience. My logic is that each and every team would have a leg-spinner in their side. So a left-hander for me in middle order is a must."
"It is an added advantage that Suresh is a handy bowler. But had Kedar been fit, the selectors wouldn't have possibly looked anywhere else," Dasgupta added.
Rayudu's YoYo Test failure has come as a shock for many, especially after a successful IPL campaign (602 runs) with Chennai Super Kings. Rayudu scored a dismal 14 in the test with qualifying mark being 16.1.
"It has been reliably learnt that team management and selection committee were "not on the same page" with regards to Rayudu's possible replacement.
With MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik already in the squad, Pant despite his brilliant IPL form was overlooked.
There is a section in BCCI which even feels that Ajinkya Rahane's limited overs case has not been handled well by the selectors and the current team management (skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri), a senior BCCI official told PTI.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma, who had taken permission from the BCCI to skip the 15 June YoYo test on that particular day, will appear for the same at the NCA on Sunday.
"Rohit had taken permission from the BCCI for his personal engagements (he is in Russia as a brand ambassador of a watch company). There's no rule that all tests have to be conducted on the same day. He will be appearing for the YoYo Test tomorrow," GM (cricket Operations) Saba Karim said.