Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 January 30, 2012

New faces will reinvigorate India - Raina


Suresh Raina, who has been branded a limited-over specialist but wants to add significantly to his 15 Test caps, does not want to talk about what went down, and what went wrong in the Test series that India lost 0-4 in Australia. Raina says the limited-overs leg of India's tour will be different, and there is a josh [passion] to do well. The limited-overs leg begins with a series of two Twenty20s against Australia, the first of which will be played in Sydney's Stadium Australia on Wednesday.

Raina, who was not part of the Test squad, was asked to describe the mood in the dressing-room. "The motivation is good," he said. "The new boys [who have joined the team for the limited-overs leg] saw the matches. We haven't done well in the Tests, but there is a passion inside to do well. Andar kuch karne ki tamanna hai [There's a desire inside to achieve something].

"We have worked hard. The new boys have been playing a lot of first-class cricket and we have done well in internationals too. It will be a good challenge for the youngsters and we are ready."

Raina promised a better performance from the side. "Definitely. The one-dayers and Twenty20 games will go differently to how the Tests went. Hopefully we will give you positive results. In the World Cup we beat Australia in the quarter-final and hopefully we will do well against Australia again."

The week before India arrived in Sydney was a wet one and, though it was hot when India went out to train on Monday, the practice pitches at Stadium Australia, nestled in a corner under the roof, were still damp. All the Indians really managed on Monday was a long fielding session. Raina said fielding would be important over the next month and a half, over which India will compete with Australia and Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth Bank Series.

"Fielding is going to be a big factor. We have to take brilliant catches, affect brilliant run-outs. We have to bat till the end and we have good allrounders. They can hit the ball as well as take wickets. We have good variation bowlers like Irfan [Pathan], Vinay [Kumar] and PK [Praveen Kumar]. They have been bowling really well. Hopefully you'll see good performances from them."

Raina was part of the squad that won the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia four years ago, but didn't play a single game. He said he has been working hard in preparation for his first international matches in Australia. "I went to the NCA [National Cricket Academy in Bangalore], then practised in Bombay. I am working on my wrist position and have been practising on bouncy wickets."

With the seniors under pressure, it is inevitable that Raina will get his third chance in Tests at some stage. Raina said it was important for him to show the world he can play Tests. "I have done well in the West Indies. I played three or four games in the domestic season, got a double hundred, and I am working on my batting. I can play Test cricket and I know that. I didn't do well in the England series, but I know I can play more and more Test matches. I do believe in my hard work, and whenever I get a chance I will prove myself again."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AB on February 1, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    with vinay kumar in the team, you can be rest assured India's performance will be consistent -might as well get whitewashed in T20's and ODIS -Kudos to Dhoni and BCCI for striving to get Vinay Kumar to get some consistency in the team

  • DINESH on February 1, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    INDIAN CRAZY FAN: I agree with you. During his tenure as captain he won many matches for SL. He is now back as captain. I think SL will win CB series.

  • Sharjeel on February 1, 2012, 6:24 GMT tough competition again but favourites are ausies:-)

  • Pleasure on February 1, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    New faces but same old result. Whitewash, whitewash, whitewash all over again......LOL

  • Milind on January 31, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    So therein lies the answer to India's test woes! Why aren't they replacing the aging players with the youngsters in Tests? They might as well have lost playing with a new team than playing non-performing seniors.

  • Cric on January 31, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Even though being a Indian and a fna on Raina, I believe Aus has the talent and advantage for winning. Here the old players are being blamed for nothing, the youngster wont be able to do anything when the experienced are failing. How many of these player have actually done their homework before getting into field. The Aus bowling is mind boggling for the Indian during the tests. they were puzzled on what to do with the ball. It wont be any different in the ODIs. Having young guns would nt make any difference. To be actually skilled against such bowling will only help. until then ther will be only talk... expecting 4/3-1/2 for ozzies

  • David on January 31, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Well, another MEANINGLESS T20 competition. And, it doesn't REALLY matter if the Aussies aren't perhaps the force they are as with other formats. WHO CARES?? The pinnacle of the series has now FINISHED.. The rest is just window dressing and completely and utterly meaningless....the sooner that this tour is over the better...In 4 years time, what WILL people remember - ONLY the TEST HUMILIATION of a 4 - 0 drubbing by the Aussies... And, the FACT that ONE of the the Holy Grails of Indian cricket STILL remains to be breached in the 21st century - TO WIN A TEST SERIES IN AUSTRALIA...Let's hope that the BCCI wake up, and that we see this happen in my Lifetime (although I'm NOT holding my breath on that one, at all!!)....

  • Drew on January 31, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    @anver I would say he/she was referring to the test matches but shaun marsh is also in the squad.

  • akkaas on January 31, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    similar to the beginning of test series, it feels like the limited overs series would be exciting and intensely competitive but lets see if the end of the T20 and ODI series is different from tests.

  • Anver on January 31, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    @woodehaven24.... my dear friend you have not gone thru the Aus T20 squad..... FYI !!!! Brett Lee & David Huseey are much senior players (OLD FACES) than Warner who is relatively a NEW FACE for Aus in international scene....

  • No featured comments at the moment.