Suresh Raina unsure about his Test cricket future

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Suresh Raina unsure about his Test cricket future

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SportsCafe Desk


Suresh Raina, who had last played a Test back way back in 2015, is not sure whether he can make a comeback to the Test arena ever again. However, the southpaw is not leaving a stone unturned for a comeback as he practiced with Sachin Tendulkar and admitted that made him a more compact player.

Raina burst onto the international scene as a precociously talented 19-year-old during the Greg Chappell regime in 2005 and immediately impressed everyone with his ability to hit the ball cleanly, his range of shots and his temperament. Although he looked set to achieve big, his Test career failed to take off each time a short ball did and as a result of it, a career that spanned over 12 years, the flashy southpaw has managed to don India whites only 18 times. Despite his inclusion in the India Blue squad for the Duleep Trophy four-day matches, his Test career is in crossroads and he knows it best.

“I don’t know whether I will play Test cricket. I am only looking after my process. We have the Duleep Trophy now and a full season is left. The more I do well, things will clear thereafter. Hard work always pays. In 2007, I was injured and missed nearly more than one and half years of cricket. I still made a comeback, touch wood I am hopeful now too,” Raina told Indian Express.

“I will approach it as you approach a four-day game. The more you stay at the crease, there are more chances of getting runs. I have been watching my old tapes. There are a few points Sachin has told me, I will try them,” he added.

Raina went to Amsterdam for a while after a successful stint in the Indian Premier League 2017 to look after his body. He also came back to practice with former India skipper MS Dhoni at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore but reportedly, failed in the yo-yo test that resulted in missing out from the 15-member squad that went to Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series and a lone T20I match. But Raina denied the failure and said that he never went through that test.

"It was all made up by media. If I had failed any test, I would have been told by the board and the trainer. It will be unfair for me to talk about it. For four to five months, I have really worked hard on my fitness. I have lost more than five kilos. My flexibility has improved. You will have to see it on the field, or else you will say I am just talking."

Of late, Raina posts his practice images on social media at an alarming frequency, which drew flak from the critics, but the Uttar Pradesh skipper rubbished them stating, “Who am I pleasing? It’s my account, I’m doing all hard work. Sometimes we express things which we want to. It’s my life and am enjoying it. I have been exploring so many things in life now. You can’t make everyone happy, sometimes you have to see keaage kya hai (what’s there in future). Social media is used by everyone now and it’s an important tool. Look at the Indian team, everyone posts selfies. It’s not only me who is active on social media.

"I just want to tell people that I am working hard and I am not the thanda type. I always believed in hard work. 60% is your hard work and 40% is your luck. Look at Yuvraj, he did the same, he worked very hard and came back. Sachin Tendulkar told me very nice thing other day, sab achha hai, you don’t need to prove anyone. You have done so much, you just need enjoy your cricket. I always made with high intensity. I know my chance will come."

The left-handed batsman was spotted discussing his game with Sachin Tendulkar, ahead of the domestic curtain raiser - Duleep Trophy. After their interaction, Tendulkar even posted a picture of himself with Raina on Twitter, with the caption, “Always great catching up with you, @ImRaina! My best wishes for the #DuleepTrophy!”

Raina revealed the discussion, saying, “I was feeling low in between, so I messaged him one day saying, ‘I want to come to Mumbai. Can you spend sometime with me?’ Despite his busy calendar he spared some time for me. I spent a few days with Sachin paaji, I practiced with him for three hours daily. He told me I am batting well, my feet are moving nicely. I’m looking more compact. I saw the videos, my head position is coming nicely.

“You have to make small tweaks now and then. As sometimes you don’t realise that your game has changed. That is why you need someone who can tell you that you are going wrong this way, or you are doing good in this area. I remember the last time when I went to England, I had few sessions with Sachin paaji and I scored hundred in first game in England. Paaji is the most technically right cricketer and his words are always precious.”

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