Dhoni hints at promoting Raina up the order

Captain MS Dhoni praised Suresh Raina for his unbeaten 89 that helped India beat England by five wickets on Wednesday and said the left- hander has learned the art of finishing matches.

“This kind of innings has a lot of value because we have been grooming him. At numbers 5, 6 and 7, depending on scenarios, more often than not, you hope that players have the talent to finish off the games,” Dhoni told reporters after India clinched the series 3-1.

Dhoni said they are also looking at the prospect of promoting Raina up the batting order. “ He has learned it [ to finish off games], but at the same time, he has to curb his instincts. He’s a naturally aggressive player; he loves to play his strokes, but he has to curb it for the interest of the team. It’ll be good if we can give him some chances to bat slightly up the order,” he said.

Dhoni described Rohit Sharma, who scored a fine 83, a “ God- gifted talent”. “ The good thing was he took it as a challenge [ to open the innings] and I am glad he scored runs because he is one of the most God- gifted talents around. It’s very important that he capitalises on that. Of course, an innings like this was very much needed from him. Personally, I am very happy for him,” he said.

Also read: Rohit, Raina clinch series for India

England captain Alastair Cook conceded that the 68- run fourth wicket partnership between Rohit and Raina made the difference.

“With 260, we thought we were in the game. We needed a couple of early wickets.

But I thought the partnership between Raina and Sharma was important; they got runs quickly,” Cook said.

Raina was lucky to be out off a ‘ dead’ ball when Steven Finn dislodged the bails in his delivery stride, after being warned in the previous games.

“To be fair to the umpires, they had told us that this is the rule. It can be frustrating.

I wasn’t totally sure. They had told us in Kochi (ODI). I couldn’t remember the conversation they had,” he said.

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