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  1. Suresh Raina has had a poor start to his Ranji Trophy 2017 season as the left-hander has managed just 72 runs in seven innings. Suresh Raina has had a forgettable start to his Ranji Trophy 2017 season. Suresh Raina was hailed as one of the fittest players in Indian cricket team but now he is spotted working out in the gym and consistently posts photos and videos of him lifting weights and working on fitness with different trainers. Away from the team for quite some time now, the Ranji Trophy was expected to be the tournament which could help Raina return the national side. That would have been the perfect script for the left-hander but it wasn’t the case to be as the runs are just not coming for Uttar Pradesh’s captain. Before the start of the Duleep Trophy in August, Raina had told The Indian Express that he will “try to stay more at the crease and that will give him more run.” Neither did he spend much time at the crease nor he could score runs. With only one fifty in the Duleep Trophy, Raina entered the Ranji matches with enough match practice under his belt but not many runs. UP’s first game against Railways had a funny end. They needed 92 runs for a win but folded for 72. Raina managed 6 and 29 in the two innings. Since then, his scores in five Ranji Trophy innings are — 0, 5, 10, 16, 6. UP are currently playing Assam in Guwahati but Raina was dismissed for six runs by Abu Nechim, bolwed. Like the bowlers in international cricket, bowlers in domestic cricket are also aware about Raina’s weakness against short-ball. Ishant Sharma targetted him with that during UP’s game against Delhi at Air Force Ground in Palam. Though he has been bowled thrice in seven innings, it’s evident that short-ball-coming thought is at the back of his mind. While Raina has thought of spending time at the crease, Uttar Pradesh’s chairman of selectors, Rizwan Shamshad says sometime players need time to get used to multi-day cricket. “I don’t think there’s an issue with his technique. He’s played mostly one-days and T20 cricket, so [multi] days cricket is a bit of an adjustment. When a player comes back to domestic cricket from internationals, a lot of things are different. He doesn’t spot a lot of things at this level. It takes time to understand how to make runs in domestic cricket again. The day he shows patience and sticks in, everything will work out,” Shamshad was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. Raina may not fit in this category though. He has been out of the Indian team for two years and apart from his IPL stint with Gujarat Lions, he hasn’t really played high-level international cricket. As an assistant coach of Gujarat in IPL, Sitanshu Kotak also watched Raina and says he doesn’t find anything wrong with Raina’s batting. “No player is good with every area,” Kotak told ESPNcricinfo. “In fact, I’ve seen him play the short ball really well. But when you get out a couple of times and people bowl short at you, then everyone thinks you’re weak at it. A lot of other players never get tested in that area. He still plays outstanding innings and outstanding shots. The only adjustment is he wanted to work on his fitness and I see him doing that. So that’s a good sign. Sometimes in this game, it happens. It’s happening with the UP team too.” --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Suresh Raina is not helping himself to comeback to the national team if he continues to play like this. He is still very valuable for LOIs. Let us hope that he stages a spectacular comeback like the rising phoenix from the ashses!!!!!!!!!!!!

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