Friday, July 1, 2011

Raina: India's Hussey?

Two dashing lefthanders, both indispensable members of their teams and possibly future captains of their countries. One started early whereas the other, in a true traditional Australian style, was brought in late. Both are heavy run getters and come from domestic teams which aren’t their country’s breeding grounds for talent. Not to forget, both play for the Super Kings and have been hugely responsible for their amazing success.

Hussey is renowned the world over for finishing matches with a plomp. He never sweats under pressure, shock absorber for Australia and rarely misses the plot. Raina seems to be following a similar path. He has truly become a trustworthy number 7. As a testimony to his prowess, He bailed India out twice in the World Cup against Australia and Pakistan with remarkable rear guard action considering the fact that he hadn’t played before that in the tournament. It also led Gary Kirsten to remark that it was Raina who had truly won the World Cup for India. A huge statement but a deserved one.

Limited overs are truly the forte of both players but their ability to play with the lower order has rubbed onto the Test arena as well. Hussey has had some remarkable partnerships with the tailenders; Jason Gillespie against Bangladesh comes to mind. The recent WI test comes to mind where Raina performed a rescue act with Harbhajan to save India. Another proof of how similar their game is.

Age is the competitive advantage which Raina has got over his counterpart. The India Australia series will be a spectacle between the two, as I am sure there would be countless situations where they would be called into action and who knows, they might even be asked to roll their arms over as they can be handy with their off spinners. Mouthwatering treats await us.

Hussey has proven his worth in Tests without any shadow of doubt. The England series could be the turning point in Raina’s career. Playing against the moving ball in helpful conditions will be a challenge he would never have encountered. I think he has got the skills in his repertoire to succeed in England and establish himself in this Indian test team. Raina along with Kohli and Gambhir hold the future of Indian Cricket.

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