Raina looks to Irani Cup to renew Test dreams

Mumbai, Feb. 5 -- The Irani Cup tie will provide an opportunity for players looking to regain their places in the Test squad for the home series against Australia starting later this month. And Suresh Raina is eager to make it count.

"It will be an important game because if I manage a big score, then I will get another opportunity in Test cricket," said the left-handed batsman. "We didn't do well in the last series against England and Rest of India has a lot of players looking to make a comeback to the Test team."

The ODI series saw the Uttar Pradesh captain reel off four half-centuries on the trot. Two of them led to victories and has brought him back into reckoning. He attributed the success to his positive approach.

"You need to follow your instincts. If you get the ball in your areas then it is important to play your shots. You also need to score runs and dominate the bowlers."

Technical Issues

However, that tactic and his technique has not worked in Tests. Raina admitted he needs to show more patience to succeed in Test cricket.

"Generally, you need to bat for five hours to score a Test hundred. Players like Sehwag can get a hundred in one or two hours. But for a batsman like me, I know I have to spend three or four hours at the wicket to score a hundred," he said. "I am working hard. I have been scoring runs in the last 10 matches and I need to do well in this match and make a comeback into the Test team."

He admits he also needs to get mentally stronger to succeed at Test level. "I have played more than 150 ODIs, so I know what sort of pressure to expect when I bat. I have been batting well, but need to be more solid."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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