Ghaziabad: Former India fast bowler and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad has expressed surprise over the non-selection of Suresh Raina in India’s 15-man squad for the first two Tests against England.
"I am not fully satisfied with it [team selection] and Raina should have definitely been in the side. Every player deserves a long run and so as Raina," Prasad said after Uttar Pradesh's six-wicket victory over Delhi in their Ranji Trophy game here on Monday.
In a meeting in Mumbai, the new selection committee, headed by Sandeep Patil, named 15 players for Ahmedabad and Mumbai Tests. Raina has been dropped, along with Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath.
Raina led UP to victory in the season's opener on Monday, scoring 55 and 37 while batting at No.5 and 3 respectively.
Prasad, who has been made coach of UP at the beginning of this season, said the time Raina had spent in the middle in this match should have been considered in the team's selection. "I was expecting Raina's selection [to the squad for England]. It's a bit disappointing for me and for the [UP] team that he is not the part of the Indian cricket team as of now. With players like him, what's important is not just the big scores but also to see how much time they spend in the middle."
Prasad said Raina led the UP side exceptionally and his innings will boost his confidence not a little. "Raina led the team superbly well here and took some amazing catches standing in the slip cordon. He batted brilliantly too. We saw him play extremely well in the first innings [against Delhi]. And even in the second innings he was very positive," he said.
The former India coach said that the 25-year-old will score plenty of runs and stake his claim for the Indian team. "Knowing Raina I am quite sure that he would score a lot of runs and make his willow talk," Prasad concluded.