Rotation Policy: Is Mahendra Singh Dhoni doing a ‘favour’ to Suresh Raina?

Did Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni come up with the idea of rotation policy to accommodate Suresh Raina and in process put Rohit Sharma, adjudged the Man of the Series in the last two ODI series he featured in, under pressure, questions Hindustan Times. “One of the likely reasons for the India captain to come up with the so-called rotation policy for the opening batsmen alone could be to make space for Suresh Raina in the eleven,” writes the paper, adding that instead of putting Rohit Sharma under scanner, Dhoni could have given a stern warning to the left-handed Raina who seems to have forgotten to deliver with the willow.

“Is rotating openers, the only option to give Rohit the opportunities? Can't the captain see Raina's continued inability to cope with the short ball? Or, is it a case of the think tank, especially MSD, whose bond with the UP batsman is well known, wanting to ignore this? Raina hasn't done any good to his reputation of being a technically flawed batsman over the last year or so. He failed in South Africa at the beginning of last year. Then, he fared poorly against the West Indies both in the Caribbean and at home. In between, an average World Cup campaign was followed by an indifferent 10-ODI stint against England,” questions the report.

Meanwhile coming to the match on Sunday, The thriller at WACA must serve as a wake-up call for Australia, writes The Hindu. In the ODI format, in certain conditions, the side can be vulnerable. The Sri Lankans almost pulled it off on a WACA surface that was, surprisingly, on the slower side. With the ball not coming on to the bat, the Australian batting struggled. The Indians will approach Sunday's match against Australia at the quaint Adelaide Oval with belief, writes The Hindu, adding that the conditions here are similar to those in the sub-continent. “The spinners could make play. However, cloud cover and spells of rain have been forecast for Sunday. If the normally bright and sunny weather here changes, so will the dynamics of the match.”

Coming to historic match between Pakistan and war-ravaged Afghanistan, in an unusal move Taliban, who generally call to make threats, called up the Afghanistan Cricket Board to give a message of support to the national team before their historic one-dayer against Pakistan in Sharjah, says a report in The Tribune.

Afghanistan were playing their first ODI against a Test-playing nation which they expectedly lost by seven wickets but not before winning hearts with their gritty display. "President (Hamid) Karzai is watching and has phoned several times to get the latest news. Even the opposition Taliban have sent a message of support. Their spokesman said we are praying for the success of the team," said Afghanistan Cricket Board chairman Dr Omar Zakhilwal, who is also the Minister of Finance.