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Suresh Raina credits Sachin Tendulkar for short ball improvement

3.09K   //    19 Jan 2015, 16:30 IST
Suresh Raina

Indian middle-order batsman Suresh Raina has credited the role played by batting legend Sachin Tendulkar in helping him play the short ball in a more assured manner in the recent past. Earlier, the left-hander used to rightly receive a lot of flak from several quarters over his technique against the bouncer which often led to his downfall. But the 28-year-old now believes that he is in a much better position to play the rising ball, after getting some valuable advice from the 41-year-old and Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy coach Pravin Amre.

“People have been talking about the short ball for years now. But I have come a long way. I worked hard with Sachin paaji at the BKC and with [Pravin] Amre sir as well. I believe I have improved a lot in that regards and it shows in the way I have been playing the bouncer for quite a while now,” the left-hander said.

Our bowling requires improvement: Raina

India’s bowling attack has been under the scanner for its inability to bowl opposition teams out for quite a long period of time, and Raina acknowledged that the bowlers need to put in much better performances in the games leading up to the Word Cup if they are to retain the World Cup title. The Indians are currently playing a triangular series against Australia and England and play their second game of the competition against England at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday.

“I feel that we can improve our bowling. Today we scored close to 270. In the World Cup, we might have to defend 240-odd runs and for that our bowling needs to be much better. We didn’t have Ishant today and that made a lot of difference. His presence will be a big boost in the coming matches. Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar] bowled really well today, especially in the death,” Raina said, in an interview with BCCI TV.  

“We have played very competitive cricket in the last two months and that has made the boys very tough. They are all very hungry to perform and win. We have done very well in the ICC tournaments in the last four years and that gives the boys a lot of confidence. We are hungry. Every individual in the team is,” he added.

Sydney Test was a huge disappointment for me: Raina

Raina got a pair in his comeback Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) a fortnight back, and he revealed that his performance in the game hurt him immensely, prompting him to work even harder prior to the start of the tri-series.

“It was very important. In Sydney, I played my first Test after more than two years and didn’t score a run. That hit me real bad. Everyone in the team tried to cheer me up saying ‘it’s okay, it was hard luck’. But I was really disappointed. I was just stunned. It felt like a bad dream,” he said.

“I had worked so hard for this opportunity and earned it after so long. It happened to me in England in 2011 — I got a pair in the Oval Test and then did well in the ODIs. So, I had been in that situation before. But this time it was tougher because of how long I had waited for this chance. What helped me get over it was that we drew the Test. Had we lost it, it would have been devastating for me.

“I learned a lot in the next two days after that Test, gathered myself and practiced really hard with the white ball. It was a new format and the one I have done well in. I put the Test behind me and started to focus on the ODIs. I am glad I could score a few runs right away.”?

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