Former India batter Suresh Raina has named hosts Australia and England as the Men in Blue’s biggest rivals in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. According to the 35-year-old, both teams have very good players suited to the T20 format, which is why they have been very successful.
India, Australia, and England were among the pre-tournament favorites to win the T20 World Cup. The Men in Blue are currently placed in the second spot in Group 2 of the Super 12 points table, having won two of their three matches. England and Australia are second and third, respectively, in Group 1 with two wins and a loss each.
In a video posted on ICC’s official social media handles, Raina shared his thoughts on the ongoing T20 World Cup. Asked about the teams India should be wary of, the former cricketer responded:
“I would say England, Australia and Pakistan. The only reason I am saying (this) is (because) the grounds are much bigger there. Australia and England have very good players because they have done really well in white-ball cricket.”
Raina, who was part of the Indian team that made the semi-finals of the 2015 ODI World Cup co-hosted by Australia, also shared his views on the pitches Down Under. He opined:
“I think Australian pitches are very tricky because the grounds are very, very big. So I think every captain knows which bowler has to be used for different ends because whichever team is going there, they need to assess the pitch very well.”
Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are the main venues for the ongoing T20 World Cup Down Under and offer their own challenges. Several matches have also been held in Perth.
“Playing a World Cup in Australia is always special” - Suresh Raina
On the experience of playing a World Cup in Australia, Raina described it as a special one, stating that there is a different kind of vibe. He elaborated:
“Playing a World Cup in Australia is always special. You’re playing amongst the fans. You’re just enjoying the vibe there and Australia has beautiful grounds - Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart. It was always exciting whenever I played in Australia.”
Asked to name his favorite spots in the country, he revealed:
“When I played last time in Australia, I went to the Gold Coast. That was a beautiful drive. One of my teammates - Matthew Hayden - took me there. It was such a nice place to be (in).”
A white-ball star, Raina represented India in 226 ODIs and 78 T20Is. He also played 18 Tests for the country and is regarded as one of the best fielders India has ever produced.