India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has confirmed that he will be returning England and rejoining Nottinghamshire for the rest of their division two campaign.
The 29-year-old had played four matches for the Trent Bridge based side at the start of the year where he had scored 223 runs in four matches at an average of 44.6.
Pujara will now be available for the final four matches of Notts division two season as they look to seal their return to the top-flight after being relegated last year.
Led by Chris Read, the county outfit currently sit on top of the table with 184 points from 10 games, ahead of Worcestershire with 149 points.
— cheteshwar pujara (@cheteshwar1) August 23, 2017
Pujara enjoyed a very successful tour of Sri Lanka where India swept the three-match series 3-0. The Rajkot-born batsman scored two crucial centuries himself and as such, will be in good knick as he rejoins his county team-mates.
The batting stalwart scored a match-winning 112 earlier in May in their league match against Gloucestershire.
— Nottinghamshire CCC (@TrentBridge) August 23, 2017
His India team-mate Ravichandran Ashwin last week joined division one side Worcestershire.
Having two vital cogs of India’s Test machinery battle it out on the seamer-friendly English tracks should come in handy in 2018 when Virat Kohli’s men will face tough overseas sojourns to England and Australia.
Suresh Raina turned towards the age-old tradition of kite-flying amid the usual cricket after his recent ODI snub for India.
The 30-year-old was not picked in the 15-man squad for the limited-overs clashes against Sri Lanka after reportedly failing the ‘Yo-Yo’ fitness test along with Yuvraj Singh.
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) man last donned the blue jersey for India in October 2015 when AB de Villiers’ men thrashed the Men in Blue by 214 runs in the fifth one-dayer at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
The left-handed batsman has been sweating it out in nets for his Ranji team, UP as they battle it out in the Moin-ud-Dowlah Cup.
Raina looked in good spirits despite the national-team omission and has been regularly updating his social media with his recent net-sessions.
It seems that the man who has 233 ODI caps for India took the news to his non-selection pretty well when he posted a inspirational quote on his Twitter profile indicating that he looked forward to the future rather the past.
— Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) August 19, 2017
The World-Cup winner was in line to make his 50-over return for India in the home series against New Zealand last year but was subsequently ruled out after contracting Chikungunya.
He did make a return in the T20 team earlier this year when he was picked in the side for England’s visit in January.
Raina scored a match-winning 63 in the third-clash as India won by 75 runs.
The man who remains the third-highest T20I run-scorer for India behind Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be eyeing a return to the Men in Blue at the some point in the future.
As such, it will be worth keeping an eye on his domestic performances this year.
A post shared by Suresh Raina (@sureshraina3) on
Eyebrows were raised over the exclusion of veteran Yuvraj Singh after the Indian squad for the upcoming five-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka was announced last Monday.
While there had been questions about whether the continued selection of Singh would be good thing with the ICC World Cup 2019 in mind, there were no indications that such a step would be taken in the foreseeable future.
However, the reasons for the 35-year-old’s exclusion from the squad have been revealed and it does not look too promising for the left-handed batsman.
A Press Trust of India (PTI) report has claimed that a failure to clear the ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test is the reason that Singh and Suresh Raina have not been selected for limited overs matches against Sri Lanka.
The ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test is a more refined version of the ‘Beep’ test used by teams to measure fitness standards. It was a part of the yo-yo test series developed by Danish soccer physiologist Jens Bangsbo.
As part of the test, training cones are used to mark out two parallel lines 20 meters apart. The subjects start with their foot behind one of the lines, and begin running when instructed. They continue running between the two lines, turning when signaled by the recorded beeps.
After each minute or so, the pace gets quicker. If the line is not reached in time the subject must run to the line, turn and try to catch up with the pace within 2 more ‘beeps’. The test is stopped if the subject fails to catch up with the pace within the two beeps ending.
According to the PTI report, an acceptable score in the test is 19.5 and above for the Indian team with skipper Virat Kohli clearing 21 quite easily. It has been reported that both Singh and Raina fell way below the acceptable score with the former barely mustering a score of 16.
In an interview with the Times of India, head coach Ravi Shastri had said “only the fittest of the lot will survive and thrive going forward and that’s right up there in the list of priorities.”
This, coupled with the selection committee chief MSK Prasad’s remarks about the need for a supremely fit team to conquer the world in all formats, shows that there is a new approach by Kohli and co going forward.
Only the fittest will survive, and at the moment it looks like it could be curtains for Yuvraj Singh’s distinguished international career.