India v England, 5th ODI, Dharamsala

I would like to bat higher - Raina

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 26, 2013

Comments: 31 | Text size: A | A

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Arrow011 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

Posted by ReverseSwingMaster on (January 27, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

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

Posted by sweetspot 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.

Posted by I.Aziz 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 ".

Posted by karthy256 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.

Posted by Rohit.Kulkarni on (January 27, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

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

Posted by dharsanti 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

Posted by Al_Bundy1 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??

Posted by   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...

Posted by   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.

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 27, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

I didn't conclude from this article that Raina wants to open - but now fans have made the suggestion, it's worth the try and quite enticing. Why not? Let's mix things up and see how it goes. It's not often you get these opportunities, Raina is in fine form. It will allow Pujara to bat at one drop or below.

Gambhir HAS to be left out. If he's selected and given yet another opportunity, I will lose faith in all the selectors + coaching staff/Captain who clearly do have an influence on selections.

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 27, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

This is a dead rubber and the perfect opportunity to experiment.

As usual, many of my fellow Indian fans are writing in with absurd solutions, one being the hopeless Abhi Mukund, I wonder which 2+ hour innings (in England) one fan is referring to because I distinctly remember the golden duck he got at Trent Bridge in the Tests. Still, he was in good company, Sehwag picked up a king pair at Edgbaston.

Still ppl crave for MVijay despite repeated failures and a penchant to slog now that he's played a fair amount of IPL. Fortunately, the cries for the leaden footed Robin Uthappa appear to have died down but there will always be one expert who will write in and ask "Where's Uthappa?".

Posted by gi.gos on (January 26, 2013, 23:48 GMT)

My Team: raina,rohit,kohli,pujara,rahane,dhoni,jadeja,ashwin,kumar,dinda,awana

Posted by Abs_why on (January 26, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

@ Joe Thompson Then explain innings such as:- 4th ODI against England World Cup Quarter-finals against Australia and his T20 century against South Africa in 2010

Posted by TRAM on (January 26, 2013, 21:14 GMT)

Any one can replace the present Mr. Poke&Out, (=Gambhir). If people talk about technique, Gambhir is the worst in the whole lot. Many in the queue waiting such as Mukund, MVijay, DKarthik, Pujara, UnMukt Chand, SDhawan, MTiwary. (All of them are far better fielders than Gambhir as well). But opening slot is toughest & specialist slot with capability to maneuver new ball. Mukund who played several 2+ hours stay at the crease in Eng and played some fast centuries in recent first class matches and hence would be my first choice. Mukund is also a strong back-foot player which is wanting in the Indian team. DKarthik is another good back-foot player and he was the only young Ind batsman to be successful in Aus pitches (no one remembers that). Raina should not come above #4.

Posted by CaliforniaMysterySpinner on (January 26, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

Raina definitely should bat higher in this ODI setup. Yuvraj Singh does not even deserve to be in the team given that his part time bowling is not to be used. And given that Raina is typically much more consistent than Yuvraj, and if Dhoni will not promote himself, and if Pujara or Manoj Tiwary does not replace Yuvraj, then Raina is the correct man for the #4 spot.

Posted by   on (January 26, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

His runs are mainly against teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka just an average player.

Posted by SpartaArmy on (January 26, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

AON, I feel Raina is a perfect fit for either 5 or 6. He used to have a tight defensive technique when he first came in to the Indian side, but seems like some how he lost it. Sehwag, Sachin and Ganguly are though unconventional openers, had a good defensive technique. They rarely get out playing defensive shots (if in form), but from what i observed in tests, Raina seems more vulnerable when playing defensive. I am no pro and I even wish i am wrong, because he can entertain like sehwag, warner, gayle do at top.

Posted by arun_padmanabhan on (January 26, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

I am no fan of Raina's technique, but he was one of the players who steadied the ship when it was sinking at Chennai against Pak. It is true that Raina is not the conventional choice for the opening slot, but so were'nt Sachin and Sehwag. I am not saying Raina plays the pull shot well, but so didnt Ganguly. I believe Raina has'nt played at the top before, but so had'nt Rohit. Guys, he has not committed blasphemy by saying he would like to open. If it works, it would be hailed as a "master-stroke".

Posted by TM on (January 26, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

RAINA TO OPEN... no way or to bat higher even. pujara and rahane should be given a chance up the order before raina raina doesnt have a good enough technique

Posted by anranga1 on (January 26, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

He is a good one day player. He should never make it to tests, we have better people. We will waste years trying him out in tests like we did with Yuvraj

Posted by nyc_missile on (January 26, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

Hope the selectors dont make the same mistake again.Selecting test team on basis of ODI performance. As most have said here,Raina is a captain's delight,a terrific fielder,complete self-less team man and an awesome ODI player.

But I would stop at that.His test performances lately are poor including at home against NZ.His problem seems to be lack of confidence.We know he struggles like most batsmen in this team overseas,but the bounce wasn't the only issue for him in Eng.He got out to Swann a lot of times.So he is one of those who need persistent mentoring & grooming which is where MSD & Fletcher are a pathetic failure.

Posted by realfan on (January 26, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

always a true spirited guy raina is.... watever the situation the match may be he gives his best..... but he is perfect where he is batting now.... he knows how to take pressure off himself, all half centuries in this series, against a minnows though, doesnt matter..... but he is consistently getting in 40's in recent times with good strike rate... that wat needed from finishers, dhoni, raina, jadeja came be good finishing trio if both jadeja, raina play well in overseas.... ofcourse dhoni play well in any conditions , anywhere in ODI....

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 26, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

Raina and Rohit should open tommorrow or give them a chanc for 1 whole year they might be suceesful becuase we already have played flopped opening pair for two year.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (January 26, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

Raina need to open, Ha ha ha then ii will be far more than interesting to see how he will tackle Bouncer and Short ball with New ball rom the both ends.IF raina will opening then indian scorecard will start with 0/1(0.0 Overs)

Posted by pull_shot on (January 26, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

yeah he can play on sub continent conditions in higher order but fails utterly in aus (next wc) when he play higher order

Posted by RameshSubramaniam on (January 26, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

I bet Raina can walk into any current ODI team in the world. As a captain, I would love to have this kind of guy. His only problem is try to hit the ball over the top in the batting power play.And is he only 26, he can form the core of middle order in ODI for a long time along with Kohli and Pujara. Yes, he has a big weakness in short ball, but who doesn't have weakness?

Posted by funkyandy on (January 26, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

Cant play the short ball (against decent pace) - could never bat at 3 or 4.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (January 26, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Raina has to give up more because of Dhoni than any favors. Raina has to score runs to keep his place like any others except the likes of Rohit, Gambhir, shewag among others. He has to bat lower down and score quickly because his captain wants him to. There is no other good finisher other than him and Dhoni, so Dhoni does not want to send him up the order. Got dropped from test side since he did not perform, where us every one else who did not perform retains the place in test side. Honestly the guy suffered more than got anything because of Dhoni. Same goes with Ashwin. When the paces do not perform he comes in for the first power play, when the pacers perform they get wickets. Even if the paces perform, he needs to come in for batting power play. He does not get much wickets since bowls to control runs. Where as the likes of Jadeja and Yuvi come in and bowl when the field is spread ou and get wicketst. Dhoni has confidence in him, but he is also suffers more than gets any favour.

Posted by   on (January 26, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

Raina is a sort of player typically suited for no 5 or no6... I dont see him having the best technique for no4 tis doesnt mean raina should bat as low as no7... No5 is ideal for raina its either low or top order ... He gets some tym to bat always.... Yuvi is not good at no 4 he is good at 5... But i would like yuvi to play at 6 and dhoni to bat up at number 4 or raina at no 4 dhoni at 5 and yuvi at 6.... Coming to dharmsala match yuvi shouldn't be rested as he is just now back at odi arena... So let him play... Pujara must open with rohit tomorrow and ishanth needs a break he played last 2 tests and 4 t20's and 7 odis on a trot... He needs some rest ... Dinda must play ahead of ishanth.....

Posted by 777aditya on (January 26, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Got to love this guy's attitude! At the time when the established openers seem over the hill, to make this statement not only reflects his commitment, but also his self-confidence. No wonder he is Dhoni's favorite - superb fielder, willing bowler, and an able batsman. Raina is by far the only mentionable contribution of Guru Greg to Indian cricket!

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