New Delhi: Even though India won both the ICC Champions Trophy in England and the tri-series in the West Indies, Suresh Raina, an integral part of the team in the shorter formats of the game, has failed to contribute much to the team’s cause in the middle order.
Having finished the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on a high, scoring 548 runs in 18 matches, one would have expected Raina to carry on from where he had left in the twenty20 league. But that wasn’t the case as he failed to do much in the Champions Trophy. The trip to the Caribbean Islands didn’t help matters either.
But the senior member in the Indian team isn’t too perturbed by the fact that he hasn’t set the stands on fire with the bat in recent times. Raina feels it is just a matter of time before he gets back into runs as the ball has been hitting the middle of his bat regularly.
“I am not really thinking too much about it as I have been hitting the ball really well. I think it is a matter of staying in the middle a little longer and settling down to play freely. If you ask me that is all there is to it,” the Uttar Pradesh left-hander told MAIL TODAY.
And speaking of batting for long periods of time, Raina has often confessed that he loves batting at the number three position and the success he had in the IPL was because of his regular spot at the fall of the first wicket.
“I generally bat a lot at number six and seven for India, so I wanted to bat at the number three position this year in the IPL and score as many runs as possible. When you bat at this position, it gives you the opportunity to plan your innings better,” Raina had said.
But while he hasn’t really managed to score too many runs of late, he has been exceptional on the field — except for the one match against West Indies when he dropped Sunil Narine and almost ended up having a fight with Ravindra Jadeja in Port of Spain — and Raina says he keeps working on his fitness.
“One needs to be fit in order to acclimatise to different conditions in different venues. So I have worked a lot on my fitness this year and am glad the results have come,” the 26-year-old player said.
International cricket is no longer about just being a good batsman or a good bowler. Players are expected to be multi-dimensional and that is why Raina has also been working on his off-spin.
“I have been working on that and felt that it would add to my utility in modern-day cricket,” he said.
Indian cricketers hardly get time away from the game, thanks to the hectic schedule, and while Raina will be back on the plane on July 20, travelling to Zimbabwe to play a series of ODI matches, he is enjoying the short break he has got post the tri-series win in the West Indies and is spending time with his family.
“There is construction work going on at my house and I have also been trying to spend as much time as possible with my family. I even made sure that I accompanied them to the temple. I have been relaxing completely,” he signed off.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.