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No harm in backing Raina for Test team

india Updated: Jan 28, 2013 16:07 IST
Ian Botham

A win was the apt way to end the tour and England took advantage of the conditions. Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn did a good job and Ian Bell, with a hundred, ensured a convincing win. It was good to see Eoin Morgan hit some form as he is an important member in the limited-overs unit. Also, what will please England is the fact that they won it without Kevin Pietersen firing as the team relies a lot on him.

Satisfactory outing
England will be happy with their pool of players, as once the likes of Jimmy Anderson, Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad come in, they will be a stronger outfit and will again set sights on the No 1 ODI spot.

They have a bunch of good seam bowlers and along with Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, England have found another good spin bowler in James Tredwell.

With a comprehensive win in the Test series, drawing square in the Twenty20 series and then losing 2-3 in the ODIs with a weaker side, England would be happy with what they have achieved. They look good ahead of the New Zealand tour.

The ODI series win will bring some relief to the India camp. They haven't played well and often looked out of sorts throughout the winter. The top order has been a concern. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have been dominant at the top but with both of them out of form, worries have begun to grow for India. Gambhir is in his early 30s and that's when many batsmen are at their best but he has looked uncomfortable against the moving ball.

India batsmen have to sort out the problem of being able to successfully counter seam and bounce. They aren't going to get tailor-made conditions everywhere. The Aussie bowlers will have noted how the English and Pakistanis bowled and would look to make life tougher for them.

Standout performer
Suresh Raina impressed in the ODI series and has shown how important he is to this India one-day side, especially in home conditions. He bats at the right number. Many do wonder why he hasn't been able to translate this in Tests, but then Test cricket is a different ball game.

The bowlers in the Test format feel it's easy to bounce him out. He is a fine all-round batsman and it's only him who can sort out his issue with the short-pitched stuff. He has been in tremendous form and I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring him back in the Test team. It's a rebuilding process for India and I hope fans are patient with the transition.

The writer is ex-England captain