The Indian team management announced the 15-man squad for the upcoming 3-match ODI series against the West Indies. Some underperformers like Dinesh Karthik got the sack while younger players like Shreyas Iyer got the nod from the Indian selectors who would be looking to build a team for the 2023 World Cup.
One of the exclusions from the team was that of wicket-keeper batsman M.S Dhoni who opted out of the tour to spend some time with the armed forces. Some fans are speculating that we might have seen the last of Dhoni in ODIs while others still want the Indian legend to carry on playing ODIs. Dhoni may or may not feature for India again but there are some players who may have played their last ODI for India. Let us look at the three names that may never represent India again in the one day format.
#1 Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane is one of the most elegant players in the game. The Indian Test team vice-captain may be short of power but he makes up for it with his exceptional timing. Rahane was tried both at the top of the order and at the number 4 spot in ODIs but he failed to perform consistently. His game is more suited for the opener’s role. However, India already have an excellent opening combination in Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
Rahane has a decent average of 35 in 90 ODIs. It is his strike rate that is a point of concern. In today’s modern game, a strike rate of 78 is considered to be below par. Rahane’s game is more suited to the bouncy tracks of Australia and South Africa. He struggles to get his timing going on slow pitches. With the next World Cup scheduled to be held on the slow pitches of India in 2023, it would be a major surprise if he is picked for India again.
#2 Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik made waves with his power-hitting in the Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh. Unfortunately, that has been his only notable contribution to the Indian team in the past year. He has gotten some starts but has failed to convert them into big scores. After failing to cement the number 4 spot in the Indian ODI team, Karthik was tried in the finisher’s role as well but came up short once again.
He got two opportunities at the World Cup in England but couldn’t cross the 10-run mark on both the occasions. The fact of the matter is that Karthik’s game is more suited for T20s as compared to ODIs. He gets bogged down in the middle overs and fails to rotate the strike in ODIs.
Having squandered plenty of opportunities, the 34-year old is unlikely to be in India’s scheme of things for the 2023 World Cup as India is likely to invest in younger players like Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey.
#3 Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina was once one of the first players on the team sheet as he was a very handy middle-order batsman. Raina could also bowl some useful off-spin and was a brilliant fielder as well. However, his shortcomings against the short-ball have cost him his place in the Indian ODI squad. Raina was peppered with short deliveries as bowlers knew he wasn’t comfortable playing the bouncer. Indian selectors did give him plenty of opportunities but Raina had lost his Midas touch with the bat.
Raina last played an ODI for India in July 2018 against England. The 32-year old is still pretty good in the field but his batting prowess has faded over the years. He struggled to score consistently in the IPL as well. With the World Cup still 4 years away, it is highly unlikely that Raina would ever represent India in ODIs again.