Till a year back, Suresh Raina was an option to fill the boots of ageing seniors in the Test team. Now, things have changed so much that Raina was not even picked for next month's A team tour of the West Indies. The left-hander is even struggling to live up to his billing as a short-format
specialist in this IPL.
When Andy Bichel, the Chennai Super Kings bowling coach, interacted with the media ahead of Thursday's match against Rajasthan Royals, his lament was clear. "We have not had a finisher in our team," he said, explaining the defending champions' failure to win close encounters.
In the previous editions, Raina had often carried CSK through with his blistering strokeplay. This time around, he has not even got a fifty.
The top two teams, Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders, have their captains, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, doing the job of finishing the games. Their CSK counterpart, MS Dhoni, is also known to finish off games, but he too doesn't have a fifty this season.
The slow Chennai track can be partly blamed for the CSK duo's failures. But when the India stars take the field against Rahul Dravid's Royals, they'll at least be away from their home ground. So, is there a revival around the corner?