Back in the day, he had the happy knack of breaking partnerships and Suresh Raina knows it more than anyone else how having multiple part-time options lends balance and versatility to every team, something India is missing these days.
With all-rounder Hardik Pandya not bowling (save one game) after his back surgery, India is playing without a sixth bowling option, who can roll his arm over and be a partnership-breaker, in just concluded limited over series against Australia.
“It is very important for a batsman to bowl and a bowler to bat, it’s is always useful for the team,” Raina said at the launch of the ”FrontRow” app.
“It is very important for any captain that a batsman chips in with 4-5 overs and just slows the proceedings before your best bowler is back in the attack,” he added.
The 34-year-old, who himself bowled part time off-breaks, said former greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag all would regularly bowl for the team which helped in maintaining balance of the side.
“Sachin paaji bowled, Viru bhai took a lot of wickets. Yuvi paaji helped us win the World Cup with the momentum,” Raina said.
“When we used to play tournaments in the villages, to be in the team, we had to bowl alongside batting otherwise we weren”t selected.
“Fielding had to be good as we didn”t know if we”d get a chance to bat or not. Bowling is arduous, no one likes to do it. But then the captain gets a choice that this player can bowl,” he added.
Talking about the FrontRow, where top celebrities from various fields put together comprehensive video lesson-based courses at accessible prices, Raina said he is delighted to share his experience with the younger generations.
“I have been lucky to fulfil my dreams and play for the country at the top level. Over the years, I have learnt many things on and off the field which would give an edge to any aspiring cricketer.
“FrontRow has given me a platform to give back and share this knowledge so that others can realise their cricketing dreams as well,” he said.
Co-founder Ishan Preet Singh said “With FrontRow, we want to bridge this knowledge accessibility gap between our country’s top talent and those with unexplored potential by providing high-quality, easy to comprehend courses at affordable pricing.
“Moreover, these successful figures have a lot of first-hand wisdom to share that often goes untapped,” he added.