Game over for 2011 WC stars Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir & Harbhajan?

The BCCI has once again ignored certain big names like Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir & Harbhajan from the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Is it all over for them

Suresh Raina, who has proven to be one of Team India’s finest players, would surely be left disheartened after failing to book a berth in the 15-member squad for the upcoming 5-match ODI series and a T20 against Sri Lanka. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad on August 13 with some of the regular players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami being given a rest. However, Raina, along with 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh, could not make it to the list.

Suresh Raina had last donned the blue Indian jersey in October 2015 when he appeared in ODIs and T20 against South Africa in the Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela freedom Series. It now seems that it was the last time he got featured in the Indian team, as his inconsistency led him to be kept out of the team. Though he was called up for the ODI series against England in January 2017, unfortunately, his poor health didn;t allow him to play and he completely missed the series. Most cricket fans may not have realised that he didn’t play any international game under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.

In last 10 years since his debut, his form had seen drastic improvement and he had been known to stay on the field till his fighting end. He left no stone unturned to get fit and underwent a fitness camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. After missing out from the Champions Trophy squad, he headed to Amsterdam where he sweated out to achieve his goal.

Yuvraj Singh, too, was ignored by the Indian cricket board. In January 2017, the 35-year-old was brought back into the ODI circuit in the series against England after 3 years. He fired up his bat and set his highest individual score, 150 runs, in the second ODI. He was lucky enough to be a part of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and the West Indies tour. However, gradually his performance started getting rusted, which has now resulted in him being excluded completely. The question of the hour is whether these two players, who used to rule in the cricket ground with their bats, will be brought back into the team in the near future? Or is it the end for both Raina and Yuvi, who have helped India win many crucial games?

Apart from Raina and Yuvi, there are a few more Indian cricketers who still hope for a chance to showcase their skills on the international platform. Gautam Gambhir, the firebrand opener and hero of the World Cup 2011, along with the Turbanator, Harbhajan Singh are among those who were speculated to get selected but could not make it to the field. After all, the team has a young captain, young bunch of bowlers, batsmen and fielders who could easily overshadow the skills of these two. Probably the same thing the selectors have in their minds and they are keeping Raina (5568 ODI runs), Yuvraj (8701 ODI runs), moreover Gautam Gambhir (5238 ODI runs) and Harbhajan Singh (417 Test, 269 ODI wickets) out of their list almost every time.

Seeing the present situation, it is possible that these former phenomenal cricketers may just as well bid the 22-yards turf goodbye. With the dominance of fresh talents like KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and many on the wait-list, World Cup 2019 is unlikely to be their cup of tea!

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