In a conversation on JioCinema’s ‘Home of the Blues,’ former India cricketer Suresh Raina spoke about what he expects from the Indian team ahead of the IND-AUS ODI series, his prediction, and key players. “More than the result, whether it is a win by 3-0 or losing 3-0, I think what is more important is for the team to go through as many tests as possible because the only thing that matters is the World Cup. Also, what matters is which players you believe in because, during the World Cup, situations will arise where you’ll have to plan accordingly.
Like Shardul needs to bowl now like Zaheer Khan did in the 2011 World Cup with his knuckleball or how Yuvraj Singh came out to win Player of the Tournament and how Dhoni went and batted in the Final. Every player has a different character. I want if a tough situation arises and the captain has to choose, I want all 11 players to raise their hand and say, ‘Let me do the job for the country.”
Raina also opined on Australia’s batting depth and whether it will be a major concern for India. “Yes, they have a lot of left-right combinations in the batting order. For me, Shardul Thakur will be the X-factor. Definitely, Mohammed Shami. I would pick Shami because he has the skill of swinging his deliveries and bowling yorkers. The Australian side has a lot of left-handers, and it will be interesting to see if Ravindra Jadeja manages to take wickets.
The Indore ground is very small, and Rajkot has a flat track. Also, the Australian side has played a lot in Mohali and hence I believe they will have an upper hand. In these small grounds, even scores of 340-350 will be chaseable and the Indian team will need to play a very strong bowling lineup to defend any sort of total in the World Cup.”
Raina further named his key players for the series. “Rohit Sharma will score the most runs during the series. In terms of wickets, Josh Hazlewood will be the pick of the bowlers from Australia. For India, it will be either Mohammed Shami or Kuldeep Yadav.”