Bangladesh v India, 3rd ODI, Mirpur June 24, 2015

One series loss does not make India bad - Raina


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'You can't disrespect Dhoni's achievements' - Raina

Although the 2-1 series defeat to Bangladesh has generated severe critique against India, Suresh Raina, after the 77-run win in the third ODI, has said that one poor show during an otherwise prosperous season is not grounds to vilify the team.

"The team's graph is going upwards definitely," he said. "These were the last matches of the season. We don't know when we are next playing one-days. We have done quite well in the format and we are still No.2 in the world. It's not that you become good or bad in just one series."

India have won 14 out of 20 ODIs in the 2014-15 season, putting them third behind Australia and New Zealand. That also provided reason for Raina to stick to the same argument regarding MS Dhoni's role as captain.

"You can't disrespect him and what he has achieved," Raina said. "He has won so many trophies for BCCI. At the same time he's a good human being, good honest man. One series can't make him bad. He's a good leader. Everyone loves him in the dressing room. There's still a lot of cricket left for him. So just wait for some time."

Having stuck to his role as finisher for a long time, Dhoni has hiked himself up the order to try and lend India's middle order some backbone. He struck 69 off 77 balls to help India to its only win on this tour.

"The way he [Dhoni] has batted in the last two games has showed how important No. 4 is for him," Raina said. "He has taken a lot of responsibility over the years and he showed it today as well. He set the tone for us today with Shikhar [Dhawan]. Me and Stuey [Binny] had a good partnership after the 40th over, you can execute [big shots] later on. Look at the kind of players we have. Look at Ambati Rayudu, he batted really well with MS also. So If you have a partnership of 70-80, then you can easily accelerate later on.

That meant Raina, with his experience, became the designated finisher. He took to the role quite well on a slow pitch in Mirpur, striking 38 off 21 balls, helping India rack up 90 runs in the last 10 overs. While admitting that the chances of success batting lower down the order are up and down, he did say he was better suited to the role now.

"No. 6 is not an easy position, you have to accelerate," he said. "Sometimes you get runs, sometimes you don't. But still you need to be positive in your mind. I am really happy. I have worked really hard with Ravi [Shastri] and at the same time Sanjay Bangar has really helped me a lot as well. Like I used to bat at leg stump, but Ravi said if you stay at middle you can play your shots over cover, over mid-off, over mid-on [better].

"My mindset has improved over the years as well. I have learned how to bat with the tailenders. When you are not scoring runs up front, you need to just look to bat really well with whoever comes in. Whether it is Jadeja, Axar, Ashwin, Stuart or Harbhajan...because you need to get a lot of runs towards the end because getting totals of 260-280 are easier to defend."

Having expressed a desire to bat higher in the line-up and shape an innings, Raina conceded that he was happy to pitch in however he could.

"No regrets moving down the order. I just want to win games for India. I can score a quick 40 or a quick 80. But still when we won the World Cup in 2011, I scored 35 not out against Australia and 37 not out against Pakistan. That's my best innings ever. I would love to bat up the order, but whatever the team needs me to do, I just have to take that responsibility."

A part of that has been to chip in as a part-time bowler, especially on slow pitches like in Mirpur. Raina said, apart from "working hard" on his offspin and tidbits from R Ashwin, his instincts as a batsman comes in handy.

"You know that five fielders are in and you have to contain, not let them rotate the strike. It's pressure on the batsmen too, chasing 300 and they know that five fielders are inside - that gives a chance to bowlers if you bowl a good line and length. I know how a batsman plays in that situation because when I'm batting, my mind also works like that. So I have some experience of bowling in those situations."

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sujith on June 27, 2015, 0:29 GMT

    One series loss.. Let us not plant such misleading ideas in public's mind...The barrage of series loss overseas under MSDhoni should not be forgotten. A captain should have some self-respect to voluntarily resign after a series loss. Moreover Raina is no authority to talk about batting. How can not handle short pitch balls. He can not hit risk free boundaries. The only big cricketing shot he knows is the ugly mighty 'heave'.

  • Ashwith on June 26, 2015, 5:33 GMT

    Every good team is strongest at home. And the last 3 series BD has proved that They are emerging as a good side. Match against SA will be crucial for BD. It will be a great achievement even if they just manage to give them a fight as many great teams have been whitewashed by SA. But BD team has to give due respect to their seniors. Their Recent success has brought in arrogance in some of their players. This attitude may cause them more harm than good with teams like SA, Aussies or NZ.

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2015, 16:13 GMT

    Mr Raina is correct because even if India loses ten or twenty series it does not matter because once IPL begins everything is forgotten by everyone in India, even by the BCCI. So bravo Raina for finally telling us the truth.

  • Harish on June 25, 2015, 13:36 GMT

    India needs to bounce back quickly. Australia lost to Zimbabwe last year, only to whitewash Pakistan in UAE. India also lost a home series to Pakistan a couple of years back only to beat England and win the Champions Trophy and the tri series in West Indies. That is how champions come back. Expect India to dominate in the upcoming tours to Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and possibly UAE.

  • Shyam on June 25, 2015, 12:38 GMT

    So, as we seen last night removing Jadeja and bringing in someone else worked for India. So why we will not say this a good Space was occupied by someone who cannot contribute neither with bowl nor with the bat. So Jadeja was given enough chances to prove his abilities, we do not need someone who needs to get chances to prove what they are capable off, we need players who can perform there every time. "YOU ARE PLAYING FOR YOUR NATION', AND REPRESENTING MILLIONS". So why DHONI should not be blamed for that?. Is is not Captains call whom he wants to Play? Lets not forget we are ranked no 2 and losing to someone who wasn't sure of Qualifying the Champions Trophy, Its a little hard nut to swallow especially when we had clear memories what happened in the World Cup.

  • Khub on June 25, 2015, 12:28 GMT

    I'm not sure what S Raina mean by "ONE" series loss? India continuously losing series here and there outside home. (and now against Bangladesh)

  • Reno on June 25, 2015, 10:36 GMT

    It was a short series. Only if it was a 5 or 7 match series, India would have won the cup. Bangladesh is till not up to the standards of Ireland.

  • Prem on June 25, 2015, 8:02 GMT

    India won the final and the tournament. The first two matches were league matches and inconsequential.

  • Animesh on June 25, 2015, 7:39 GMT

    Rightly said. Form is temporary but class is permanent. BD team lacks TEST class.

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2015, 6:08 GMT

    Seriously Bangladesh cricket fans u need a break...u doubting abd amd amla talent is like doubting sugar for its sweetness..abd is best modern day batsman...wait nd watch he is coming..

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