Raina eyes Test comeback

The left-handed batsman hopes for a good outing in Irani Trophy, ahead of the series against Australia.

Mumbai: Suresh Raina is often considered to be the unsung hero of Indian cricket, his superlative finishing skills in the shorter formats often sidelined by other, flashier knocks.

Following a good run in ODIs against England, the southpaw said on the eve of the Irani Trophy match that he would use the contest to mount a genuine push into India’s Test squad, ahead of the series against Australia.

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“I have been scoring runs in last 10 matches. So this is good chance. I need to do well in this game; then I can come back to the Test team. I am looking forward to this game,” Raina said.

Raina is part of Rest of India as they take on Ranji Trophy winners Mumbai at the Wankhede stadium here. The majority of Rest’s squad appeared for practice at the ground on Tuesday.

Among the players who did not turn up was off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who had recently commented that India would make a clean sweep of the Australia Test series.

“I am not looking at 4-0,” Raina said when asked to explain his team-mate’s apparent confidence, “I am trying to do well against Mumbai. If I come back to the Test team, then definitely we will try to defeat them. If an experienced player like Harbhajan is saying this, then definitely we would be able to defeat them 4-0 if we play well.”

Raina said he hoped to play at least “50 Tests” for India.

“I am working hard and batting well. I hope I make a good score. Then I will definitely get a chance,” he added.

The other players who skipped practice on Tuesday included captain Virender Sehwag, opener Murali Vijay and Manoj Tiwary.