Suresh Raina: I am India's highest run-getter batting at no. 3 position
While the thumping ODI series loss leaves the India ODI team Down Under bereft of any positives, the forthcoming three-match T20 International series will provide a true picture as to how prepared MS Dhoni & Co are for the World T20 starting in March. Experts reckon Dhoni needs to settle his unsettled mind. His batting conundrum has certainly not gone down well with his most-trusted player, Suresh Raina.
Suresh Raina. Pic/Getty Images
Although Raina would not like to bat below No 4, the southpaw admitted that frequent changes in the batting position "definitely" affects the mindset. It could be one of the reasons for losing his ODI spot as well. "It would be better if they (team management) can tell me at least 10 overs before (I got out to bat) about my batting position. It is important to know your strengths. It helps in formulating your own plans as well. If they can tell me before the game or during the game, it helps in planning the innings in a better way," Raina told mid-day yesterday, on the eve of his departure to Australia for the three T20 Internationals.
Although Raina generally bats at No 4 for India in T20s, the southpaw may not be willing to sacrifice his batting position this time with Yuvraj Singh back in the T20 team. Yuvraj is essentially India’s No 4 batsman in the limited overs format.
Refreshed, recharged and back-in-form, Raina minced no words when it came to speaking about his preferred batting position in T20s. "I would love to bat at No 3. I have always batted at No 3 in the Indian Premier League. I am the highest run-getter in that position (471 in 15 international innings).
Soon, a chat in Aus
It (batting position) depends on coaches and captains. I will have a word with the captain and coach once I reach there (Australia). I also don’t mind batting at No 4 since Virat Kohli is batting at No 3. "But No 3 would be my preferred position," he declared.
Raina, who was the fourth highest run-getter with 284 in six innings at 56.80 for semi-finalists India in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, said his main aim is to help Team India bounce back in the T20s against Australia.
"We have lost four ODIs. My goal is to help my team win the three T20 games. That will help us gain a lot of confidence before the World T20. It is important that we do well," said Raina.
Learning from his World Cup experience, Raina will not look to go for big shots Down Under.
"Although T20 is all about playing big shots, I would look to run hard between the wickets in Australia where the grounds are much bigger. I will look to capitalise on twos and threes there," he said.