'Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy has helped me prepare for IPL 2019,' says Suresh Raina
What's the story?
Raina also spoke about India's chances of winning the ICC World Cup 2019, which will commence just a few days after the IPL ends.
Raina has been the cornerstone of the most successful IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings, ever since the league's inception. He also played a crucial role for the Indian team in the 2011 World Cup and was a part of the squad that played the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
However, poor form and lackluster performances led to his ouster from the team. Raina has continued playing domestic cricket for his home state, Uttar Pradesh, and will look forward to leading from the front for CSK come IPL 2019.
The heart of the matter
Talking about his preparations for the upcoming IPL, Raina said, "I have a mix of activities that I do, I am currently doing a lot of high-intensity workouts in the gym, followed by strength and conditioning sessions. I'm at the nets three-four times a week. The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (India's domestic Twenty20 competition) has given me some match practice before the IPL. As an Indian player, my job is to work hard and hope for the best."
He even spoke about former captain, MS Dhoni's batting position in the Indian team. Raina believes that no.5 or no.6 would be ideal for a player like Dhoni, while no.3 or no.4 will be a good position for the Indian captain, Virat Kohli.
When asked about his thoughts for the ICC World Cup, the 32-year-old said, "For me the most balanced team will win the World Cup. English conditions are helpful for the seamers but in the recent years we have seen spinners also do well.
"Last year when I was playing against Ireland and England, our wrist spinners did really well. Team India is shaping up really well in this regard, a healthy mix of youth and experience. And a pace attack that is bowling beautifully in all conditions. No grey areas as such."
Suresh Raina may not make it to the World Cup squad but if he performs well in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings, the chances of his international comeback will increase manifold.