Suresh Raina wants team management to tell him about his batting position in T20s
India have already lost the ODI series against Australia. Four successive defeats saw the previous World Champions struggle heavily down under. But the forthcoming three-match T20 international series will provide the real litmus test of how prepared the MS Dhoni-led side is for the World T20 starting in March. According to many pundits, Dhoni needs to settle down his side, especially his middle-order. The Indian middle-order has had a very poor show in the ODI series so far.
Dhoni’s most trusted player was not a part of the ODI squad against Australia this term following his poor show in the last few series, but was picked for the T20 series. But the talented left-hander is by far the best T20 batsman for India. In the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Raina led the Uttar Pradesh to their maiden tournament victory. He also played a match winning knock of 47* in the final.
I would love to bat at No. 3: Raina
In a recent interview Raina admitted that he would not like to bat below No 4, he also added that frequent changes in the batting position “definitely” affect the mindset. Raina said, "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 generally bats at No.4 for the national side in T20s, behind Virat Kohli. But the southpaw faces stiff competition for his usual spot this with Yuvraj Singh back in the T20 team.
Raina is Indian’s highest run getter in T20s at No.3. Refreshed, recharged and back-in-form, Raina minced no words when it came to speaking about his preferred batting position in T20s. The Uttar Pradesh-born cricketer said, "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. It (batting position) depends on coaches and captains. I will have a word with the captain and coach once I reach 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."
My goal is to help India win the three T20 games: Raina
Raina had a good outing last time when he went to Australia- for the World Cup. He was India’s fourth highest run-getter with 284 runs in six innings at an average of 56.80. Learning from his World Cup experience, Raina will not look to go for big shots in Australia. He said, "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."
The 29-year-old said that his main aim is to help Team India bounce back in the T20s against Australia. He added, "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."