Suresh Raina considers himself lucky as the Indian skipper Virat Kohli sacrificed his batting position for him, as he made his comeback in the Indian team. Raina is playing for India after almost a year and the southpaw needed support from the team management.
The 31-year-old was called for the T20I series between India and South Africa. He scored 31 and 15 in last two matches batting on number 3.
“It is important Virat showed that faith in me,” Raina said. “In the last two games, we have dominated the first six overs. It is very important to play well in the first six overs. When you look to target these overs in T20s, you have to play your shots. When there is depth in the middle order, you can afford to take chances.”
Raina scored 314 runs in 9 innings with a strike rate of 146.04 in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He averaged 39.25 and smashed a hundred and couple of fifties in nine matches.
The Uttar Pradesh batsman is also hoping for a comeback in the ODI team. India is yet to find a perfect number 4 batsman and it gives an opportunity to Raina to prove himself.
“It is very important (returning to the ODI team). But a team victory is more important than individual performances. I am someone who always plays for the team and if we are winning trophies then individual performances (and opportunities) will take care of themselves. Whatever opportunity I get, I look to play my natural game.
“If you see the top order, they are all batting well. When you come to Nos 4, 5 and 6, MS is there and Manish is also doing a good job. So, we will see where I can fit in. We have lots of matches coming up.”
Raina spotted that South Africa are getting better against spinners. They have implemented their plan B to counter the spinners.
“Without Kuldeep, our bowling isn’t weak. We have done really well as a bowling unit. Sometimes you need to credit the opposition as well. They needed to do something different when our spinners were not allowing them to score. They needed to come up with plan B and they did that.”