Raina is keen. And MSD’s done well to back him, (even ahead of Nohit Sharma, imagine). The kid brings a simple cricketing intensity, there’s no side to him, no nakharas. He plays some hard cricket, loves his midwicket shots so much he forgets to play offside, loves his fielding, and doesn’t return favours, dropping catches.
When he bowls, holding back the delivery till he gauges the batsman’s movement till the last instant, you sense the masti Raina gets out of his cricket. When was the last time you saw that in an Indian cricketer – no tension, happy bowling, fielding, catching, batting.
Now you know why the twosome collectively spilled him, why Zaks dropped him. Raina is a lappa – when he’s not hitting the ball far, he’s hitting it high – it’s like aiming at a bird, a plane, superman, and marking them as the boundary.
Raina is the endearing little bully from the neighbourhood park – everybody knows he’s better than them, including him.
The IPL can be almost too easy for a player like Raina or Nohit or Yusuf – their abridged focus, some yaari-walli bowling, it’s tonk-tonk time.
While it’ll be great to see them go nuts in the T20 World Cup, these guys gotta extend their think-span overseas, and then who knows, a longer format. How ‘bout one-dayers to begin with?
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