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Dropped from the Indian team after a disastrous tour of New Zealand, Suresh Raina is determined to make the most of his opportunities as he looks forward to the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 event in Bangladesh which kicks off in a week’s time after having a chat about his batting technique with former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly.
Raina’s situation has an incredible resemblence with Ganguly’s struggles with form, his problems with the short ball, and Dada’s knack of making glorious comebacks when the chips are down.
In an interview with ABP news, Raina said : “When you are down and out, that’s when you find out who is willing to help you, who is your friend and who can be a good guide. Sourav Ganguly was one such person who helped me in my difficult times. I spoke to him and he was very keen to help me.”
“We spoke extensively, and he advised me to work hard on my footwork, and on my mind. He is a great batting coach and motivated me a lot when my morale was down. Our batting techniques are also very similar and we spoke about the short ball, footwork and making a comeback. I got a lot of positive vibes from Dada. He told me about believing in my own ability, and spoke about those minor things that I had overlooked for some time.”
“Every TV channel i tuned into and every newspaper I read, I realised everyone was only talking about my bad my form was. They kept putting the argument that I haven’t scored a half-century in the last 25-odd games and how my averages are in a particular format, and so forth. There is an obsession with numbers and statistics, which is very harsh on a cricketer. He cannot be judged purely on the basis of stats, performances are subjective.”
Raina said that people have overlooked his significant contributions lower down the order and said that his thirties and forties while batting lower down in chasing a target is a ‘high-pressure job’.
Raina conceded that the constant talk regarding his poor form ahd an adverse effect on his batting. “Lately, I used to step onto the cricket field thinking I have to perform well, this is my last opportunity to bat, this is my last chance to get a big score, this is the last catch I will be taking.” Raina conceded that these thoughts put him under undue pressure, and his nervousness resulted in his downfall and he failed to make an impact.
Raina played in the Vijay Hazare trophy in this break and is feeling confident looking ahead to the T20 carnival in Bangladesh.
“I watched the Asia Cup sitting at home from a outsider’s perspective and realised that the team needs me. I have a role to play with this team. I just need to let my bat do the talking, do well at this World T20 and maybe force my way back into the ODI side with the 2015 ICC World Cup in mind.”