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Not taking Bangladesh lightly: Raina

Raina scored a match winning 100 in the last game against Zimbabwe Melbourne, March 18 (IANS) Middle-order batsman Suresh Raina has said India are ...

Raina scored a match winning 100 in the last game against Zimbabwe

Melbourne, March 18 (IANS) Middle-order batsman Suresh Raina has said India are not taking Bangladesh lightly ahead of their cricket World Cup quarterfinals clash at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Thursday.

"We are not taking Bangladesh lightly. Tomorrow is a big day for us. This is the quarterfinals and we have to win. One mistake and you can lose," Raina said at the customary pre-match press conference here on Wednesday.

"All we need to do now is be disciplined in all departments of the game, be positive and look to enjoy each and every ball from here on. I'm very excited to play the quarterfinals against Bangladesh."

The 28-year-old believes that the defending champions will do well against their neighbours, who have a 1-all record against India in World Cups.

"Bangladesh have done well against us. We lost against them in 2007 and they have had success against us in Asia Cup as well. But we are not thinking about such facts. We are looking at what we have to do tomorrow and what we have done in our league matches," said the southpaw.

"We just need to play positive cricket and we will do well. The main World Cup is going to start for us tomorrow."

Overall, India have beaten Bangladesh in 24 One-Day Internationals (ODI), lost three three and one ended in no-result.

Talking about the composure in the team, the left-handed batsman said that everyone is calm and focussed on the match ahead.

"Today when we were practicing there was a sense of calm. Everyone looked focused in the nets. We have won from this stage many times and it is important that there is that belief in the team," said the Ghaziabad-born.

"We know what to do when we wake up in the morning. We just need to apply ourselves, need to be disciplined and enjoy a lot on the field. The results will follow. There is belief in the team and we will play with zest tomorrow."

Raina has struck form at the right time. He hit a brilliant 74 against Pakistan in India's World Cup opener and smashed his fifth century to bail India out and take them to victory against Zimbabwe in their final Pool B match.

"I have improved as a player. I have learnt a lot from M.S. Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif. They all played in the crucial middle order and I played a lot of matches with them. I now have an idea of the sort of batting I need to do in ODIs," said Raina, who also chipped in with a wicket against Ireland.

"I've become more mature after 2011, having played all big tournaments and crucial games. As a team as well we have come a long way and the credit goes to the support staff for bringing out the best from us."

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