Suresh Raina, one of India’s best fielders, facing a teammate’s ire for lapses on the field, is not a common sight.
On Friday, on way to the thumping win over the West Indies, Ravindra Jadeja and Raina were locked in a war of words during a drinks break following two missed chances off the left-arm spinner’s bowling.
When contacted, a team official said there was nothing much to read into the incident. “It was a small reaction that happened on the field.”
But it has raised eyebrows, especially because both Jadeja and Raina are managed by the same company, Rithi Sports, owned by a friend of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. They also play the IPL for the same franchise, Chennai Super Kings, which is led by Dhoni.
So as the India skipper was recuperating from a dodgy hamstring, the two picking up a quarrel in the middle, raised suspicions that not everything was right.
Just a few days back, the selection committee had named Virat Kohli skipper for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe. This must have affected Raina, who has in the past led the side in the absence of Dhoni and then vice-captain Virender Sehwag on tours of the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Just after the World Cup win, Raina led the team to a series victory in the Caribbean, even though his personal average was a paltry 16.4.
Not just that, in 2010 in Zimbabwe, Raina had failed to inform the on-field umpires that he was taking a Powerplay against Sri Lanka. Obviously, the selectors were not taking chances and opted for Virat, who lifted India on Friday with a blistering century.
The management said it was a momentary flare-up of tempers and that everything was fine between Raina and Jadeja. “We have not issued any warning to any of the players,” said the official. But with frustration building up and Dhoni going to be absent in Zimbabwe, the think-tank could be on the edge.
Rain plays spoilsport
Rain halted play in the fifth match of the tri-nation series between the West Indies and Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Sri Lanka were 60 for three after 19 overs when rain came down. Earlier, stand-in West Indies captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and put Sri Lanka in at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Lendl Simmons, who was drafted into the hosts’ squad on Saturday following the suspension of regular captain Dwayne Bravo for the match, came into the final XI as one of three changes from the team that lost by 102 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis Method to India on Friday.
India on the edge
If there is no further play or if the games ends without a result then India will be have their task cut out. They will need to win the final game against Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin was omitted along with spinner Sunil Narine.
Brimming with confidence following a 161-thrashing of India in their last match, Sri Lanka made two changes from the victorious XI at Sabina Park.