India v England, 5th ODI, Dharamsala January 26, 2013

I would like to bat higher - Raina

ESPNcricinfo staff

Suresh Raina, whose unbeaten 89 in the fourth ODI against England in Mohali sealed a series win for India, has admitted that he would like the opportunity to bat further up the order. Raina has spent the majority of his 158-match ODI career coming in at Nos. 5 or 6, and it was from a position of three wickets down that he scored his 27th half-century on Wednesday.

"Definitely, I would like to bat higher up the order," he said, ahead of the fifth ODI. "If I am given a chance, I would like to give 100% as it will also give me an opportunity to play more overs. I have enjoyed batting at five, six, seven, where you need to bat till the finish."

Yuvraj Singh has occupied the No. 4 spot for India in recent years, although Raina has an impressive record batting there - albeit in just nine innings - averaging 58.85, with four fifties and his best ODI score of 116 not out. Raina has, however, been in good form in his current slot in the line-up, scoring half-centuries in each of his three innings against England so far to make him the leading run-scorer on either side.

Raina, 26, also said he hoped being able to bat for longer periods and building an innings would aid his chances of returning to the Test team. Raina's average from 17 Tests is just 28.44 and he has made six single-figure scores - including three ducks - in his last eight innings. After a year out of the side, he played in India's two Tests against New Zealand in August, scoring 3, 55 and 0 before being dropped in favour of the returning Yuvraj. "If you talk about my Test performance, I scored a fifty in one of my last three innings," he said. "I believe that I can make a comeback in Tests."

An impressive performance in the Irani Cup - a one-off Indian first-class match featuring the Ranji Trophy winners and a Rest of India side - which will begin on February 6, could push him back into the selectors' thoughts ahead of the arrival of Australia later in the month. But Raina was keen not to look too far ahead and hoped to help India secure another win over England in Dharamsala.

"Yes, Irani Trophy will be very important, but at this point I want to focus on doing well in tomorrow's match," Raina said. "Although, we have won the series, it would be nice if we can finish with a 4-1 margin."

Preventing that from happening is the priority for the tourists and Joe Root, a rare recent success story for England's one-day team in India, said the players were pulling in the same direction and eager to finish on a high. "We're obviously very disappointed as a team with the way the series has gone," he said. "It has been nice for me to score some runs and put in a few performances, but it always feels better when you're winning."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bhaskar on January 27, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Raina should be given a chance as a test opener, if you see his career strike rate he is just below Sehwag & above most other players. He can play in place of the dead-wood Gautam gambhir. With 2 explosive openers Sehwag & Raina on top it will be a boom start for India.

    Test 11 should be : Sehwag, Raina, Pujara, Sachin, Kohli, Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar, Ojha, Umesh Yadav EXTRAS: Piyush Chawla, Ajinkya, Unmukt & Varun Aaron

  • Muhammad on January 27, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Bowl him above waist height he will show you where he stands.

  • Senthil on January 27, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Total "can do" attitude. Once again, there are people suggesting he has a weakness against the short ball, and once again, I must ask with a little embarrassment, when was the last time Raina was dismissed by a short ball? KP against left arm slow bowlers is ten times weaker than Raina against the short ball. Check out his whole career! This whole short ball business has been overdone. This is a matter of technique, and batsmen can train themselves as long as they have the intelligence for picking up the craft. Raina has enough and more in the tank to do well. I like the way he is making his form count in the current series. If he wants to play higher up the order, that's pressure on a few big names. I'm loving this. If Raina spoke English like Kohli, he would have a lot of fans calling him a lot of positive things. But, I'm happy to see the same Raina in India and CSK teams, playing the game the right way.

  • Izzat on January 27, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    I am a Pakistani but not a joke or fun on a serious note I propose Raina for India test team captain people this guy is more than capable of that. He will excel if entrusted with the responsibility, he is India's Cook a very selfless person what you call it? "a team man ".

  • karthy on January 27, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    i don't know people called kohli as some legend and has excellent technique and actually scores less than ashwin may be ashwin has better technique than kohli.comeon people kohli scores once in every 10 innings i think ashwin has broken his record.

  • Rohit on January 27, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    I hope he says the same when it comes to batting in Australia,England and South Africa

  • santi on January 27, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Raina has good technique and better and more consistent than Kohli He should bat at#3. This will give stability to batting line up, even if openers go early. Now a days if openers do not perform, kohli does not stay on wicket and that put pressure. Raina should be in test too. No doubt he is futur captain of team India

  • Al on January 27, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Agree with @TRAM - Many in the queue waiting such as Pujara, SDhawan, MTiwary, Mukund, MVijay, DKarthik, UnMukt Chand, Jaffer (for tests) are far better than Sehwag and Gambhir. Those 2 openers haven't done anything in last 2 years. They are surviving purely on their past reputation. Why does Raina want to bat higher?? Can he handle bouncers??

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Raina is a good ODI player at his current position..No higher than No.4... drop Yuvraj..... Play Rahane, Rohit, Pujara as openers or No.3 Raina is not fit for Test Team..Many of these guys do well in a few matches and immediately start talking about their ambitions..The problem is BCCI and selection committee take them seriously...

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Mr. Joe Thompson, out of his 137 innings in ODIs till now, Raina has played only four innings against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and one against Hong Kong. Other than that his opponents have been the Australia, South Africa, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies, and Sri Lanka. If you put Sri Lanka in the same category as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, then how much of international cricket you follow is highly dubious. His average against England is 46, Australia is 35, NZ 38, Pakistan 43, South Africa 28, and Sri Lanka 38. He may not be the greatest player of swing and bounce but in today'w world nobody is. However, as a finisher of One Day games he is of the same class as Bevan I believe.

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