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New Delhi: A look at Suresh Raina’s records is indication enough that he is one of the best in the business when it comes to the shortest format of the game.
The fact that he has played every single time Chennai Super Kings have taken the field — be it in the IPL or the Champions League T20 — is proof enough that he is an indispensable member of the team.
But as the Chennai outfit is busy preparing for the main round of the Champions League T20, starting on September 21, Raina isn’t focused on just helping his team win this year’s tournament. The left- hander also wants to use it as preparation for the upcoming limited-overs series against Australia.
With India skipper M.S. Dhoni attaching a lot of importance to the contest — as the team hasn’t done too well against the Aussies in the limited-overs format in India — Raina is keen to contribute as much as possible in the high-voltage series comprising seven ODIs and a T20I.
“We have an important series coming up against Australia just after the Champions League T20 and I would definitely like to use this tournament to prepare for that,” Raina told MAIL TODAY.
While several players — representing India ‘A’ — went into the recent series against South Africa ‘A’ looking to acclimatise to conditions as India is set to tour that country soon, Raina wasn’t really in the best of form, having failed in the Champions Trophy and the tri-series in West Indies, before playing a few good knocks in Zimbabwe.
But the Uttar Pradesh player says he wasn’t too perturbed and felt it was just a matter of time before he started scoring runs. “Yes, it went well in Zimbabwe and South Africa, but I wasn’t really thinking too much about my form as I was hitting the ball really well. I felt that it was more a case of staying in the middle a little longer and settling down to play freely,” he said.
And the result showed as he hit two half-centuries in the one-dayers against South Africa ‘A’ and Australia ‘A’, before a fine century against the hosts in the first unofficial Test as India ‘A’ won the match by an innings and 13 runs.
He picked four wickets as well, clearly showing that opposition batsmen can take him lightly at their own peril.
While Raina doesn’t want to call himself an all-rounder, he has definitely worked on his bowling during training sessions.
“I keep getting asked about my bowling and yes, I have been working on it for quite some time now as I feel that adds to my value as a player in the team,” he said.
The recent break that he got from cricket saw him spending as much time as possible with his family.
“There was construction work on as we were refurbishing our house and I have also been trying to spend ample time with my family, even accompanying them to the temple,” he signed off.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.