Suresh Raina might have been axed from India’s ODI squad for the upcoming India tour of Australia, but the dynamic southpaw is full of optimism. Raina, who is leading Uttar Pradesh (UP), in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, said that he was giving his absolute best in the domestic circuit. Raina said that playing domestic games was an ideal preparation for international games.

“Sometimes we manage to score runs, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we work really hard, but fail to score,” said Raina.  “Sometimes we look at the bigger picture. We have a lot of tournaments coming up.

The Australia tour, the World T20, Asia Cup and IPL. Domestic tournaments serve as a good preparation. The more we play, the better we are prepared. Lot of matches are coming up. Hope I do well.”

In their recent encounter against Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh chased down 161 with sheer ease and without much of a fuss. “It’s a target for our batsmen. Under 50, we don’t want to lose any wicket,” Raina said.  “When I know that no wicket has fallen, I can attack knowing well that there are other batsmen to follow. That’s the plan for us.

Had the score been 40 for 2, the game would’ve been different. Because most of the players they (Karnataka) have, have played for India at various levels or IPL. So my game plan was to just go out there and express myself, because the wicket was good.”

“We played really good cricket. We batted well and we bowled well. In Twenty20 you need to be more patient. It looks like a 20-over affair, slightly shorter, but we have a lot of balls to play, lot of time to execute our plans.

More importantly, we need to keep backing our ability and execute it. What we did in the earlier chase, we did the same thing.” “When I went in to bat, I told Prashant ‘Knock the ball well. When we get the momentum, we can play aggressively in the middle overs’. We had to target a bowler. I’ve learnt that from IPL. It’s a nice win for us – three in three,” he concluded.