Once touted to be a big talent, Suresh Raina has lost his way elsewhere other than the IPL, but he hopes to make it back to the Test squad soon. The southpaw noted that he was hitting good form and said that he could perform much better if he comes in at No. 3 like he did for the CSK side in IPL.
Asked about areas he wants to improve himself in, Suresh Raina said, “See I come at No 6 in the batting order usually and it's very difficult. In IPL, I usually bat at the No. 3 and make a lot of runs. I have also won a lot of games for India coming in at No 6.
“If I get more overs, I feel I can score big like the 90 off 101 deliveries I made for India Green in the second innings against India Red (in the Duleep Trophy match) a few days ago.
“In that innings, I was batting with the tailenders and I was happy to score under lights. I am beginning to find form and hopefully with a lot of Tests coming up this season---I hope to make the (Test) team,” in an exclusive interview to TNN.
The Gujarat Lions skipper, who is arguably the best IPL batsman ever, also talked about the factors that go into T20 success
“I think one needs to work really hard and there is no substitute to that. Also, one needs to understand his game well. There are many who would say that all you need is just need one good season to make a mark, but you have to be consistent and play well each season. T20 is a format which requires a player to constantly work hard on his game,” he said.
Apart from his batting, Raina has also been one of the best hands on the field and has been at the top of the IPL catches charts. Speaking about what makes him click as a fielder, Raina said, “Fielding is one area where you must expect the ball to come to you all the time. One must relish fielding in order to be good at it. I have always enjoyed my fielding drills and have always looked to improve myself on the field. Be it taking catches or effecting those run-outs, the more you work hard--the better you are going to get.”
The batsman is currently captaining the India Green side in the Duleep trophy, the first-ever tournament in India that has seen the use of the pink ball. Asked about the experience, Raina said, “I think it was a great one. Playing under lights and with the pink ball was a challenge and I am sure the players would get used to it with time. But I believe it's a good move to have the tournament under lights.”
He was also all praise for the Tamil Nadu Premier League, which he had come to endorse as a guest speaker. Raina called it a great platform for youngsters and said, “It definitely is a fantastic tournament and you would see a few cricketers from TNPL who are going to play in the IPL next year. These tournaments provide a platform for players to showcase their skill set and soak in the pressure of playing in front of a capacity crowd. With the tournament being telecast live--it's a big plus as youngsters watching will be motivated to take up this sport,” reported TNN.
Finally, he answered queries about how fatherhood has changed him. Raina had to take off midway through the IPL last season to be beside his wife for the birth of their baby daughter. Raina said, “It's been a surreal experience and I forget everything when I see my daughter around. Her mother (wife Priyanka) does a lot of sacrifices for her and I make sure to be by her side all the time.”