After a forgettable few months in Australia and in the Asia Cup along with the World T20, Suresh Raina has picked up some great form in the current season of the Indian Premier League.
Raina, who is the highest run-getter in the tournament over the years and has 875 runs to his name at an average of 33.99. He previously played for the Chennai-based franchise the Chennai Super Kings and has now moved on to the Gujarat Lions franchise where he is now donning the captaincy responsibilities.
In a recent interview with Times of India, Raina revealed spoke about a number of aspects of the IPL.
The middle order batsman was asked about the young players who have been performing well in the IPL and he felt that Indian national team fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah who is currently playing for the Mumbai Indians has always been a great prospect.
“Shreyas Iyer is one. Jasprit Bumrah was always Team India material. Krunal Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav are a few others,” Raina said in the interview.
The hard-hitting left-hand bat was also all praises for the lucrative tournament that is IPL.
He felt that it was an extraordinary chance for young budding cricketers in the country to learn a lot from the best in the business.
With the number of top class names involved in the tournament, Raina felt that the young Indian players can learn a lot from the cricketing stars and also the Bollywood stars who have shown professionalism with their franchises.
“IPL helps a lot. It teaches a lot…way of living, a way of training, how to look after your body, what to eat, when to sleep. It even teaches man-management skills.”
“Man-management and time management skills must be learnt before coming to the IPL. The tournament is all about that…. how to remain fresh and motivated before a game,” Raina added.
The 29-year old also spoke about his role as a captain of the Gujarat side this season.
He revealed that having players who have already played alongside him has helped him this campaign and that he tries to be available for his players whenever they need him.
He said, “I have got this responsibility. I have to perform for my players. I have played with most of my players at Chennai Super Kings.
“They have played so much in India. It helps to have a set combination if the players respond to the captain. I have never missed even an optional practice session so I can give my players more time.”
He was also questioned about the things he learnt from his former captain MS Dhoni.
When asked about the difference between both the players, Raina afforded a smile and said “You need to ask the players about this. How would I know?”
He went on to say that it was important for the captain to play selfless cricket and that he is trying hard to adapt to it.
Raina has not been a regular in the Indian test squad and this has seen the 29-year old think about playing county cricket back in England.
“Test cricket is obviously important. We have our first-class and Test season later on in the year. To do well there, I will also be trying for a county stint after my wife’s delivery. Cricket is also about entertainment but I have always believed in Test cricket,” Raina revealed.