The national selectors don't think Suresh Raina needs rest, but M.S. Dhoni continues to insist he does. The captain had said this one day before the squad for the first two ODIs was picked and repeated it on Tuesday, when asked about the lack of runs from the left-hander in this series.
"Raina really needs a break, because he has played as many series as I have, like many other cricketers have. Plus, he played one more in Zimbabwe. International cricket drains you. More than physical, it's the mental part. Unfortunately, many of the senior players are getting rest, but he will have to continue. A break of 10-15 days break will definitely help him get back into the groove," said Dhoni.
Asked whether he would consider dropping Raina in the first Test against South Africa starting on December 16, if he is picked for the last three ODIs against New Zealand as well, Dhoni said: "If he doesn't get a break in the ODI series, then we will have to. One option was to give him rest in the last Test and have him back for the ODIs. But we played him because we thought he would get a break during the ODIs. It's tough on him. Hopefully, Raina gets rest for the last three games."
Dhoni refused to comment on whether Raina deserved to be rested, like the five senior players. "I don't know what to answer. Physically, Raina isn't struggling. But in international cricket, you have to keep performing. Being the leading fielder in the side, he has to keep himself active throughout the day. It's mentally very draining and we have to keep that in mind."