India news February 5, 2013

Raina targets fifty Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

Suresh Raina, who was dropped from the India Test squad for the England series, believes he can extend his Test career to 50 Tests if he continues working hard.

Raina started his Test career with a century in Sri Lanka in 2010 and followed it up with two half-centuries in the next two Tests. In the following 14 Tests, however, he managed 459 runs at an average of 19.95 and lost his Test spot to Yuvraj Singh for the home Tests against England.

"I have played just 17 Test matches," Raina said. "I am the sort of guy who always believes in hard work and discipline. I know if I work really hard on my game, I will be able to play at least 50-60 Test matches."

Raina is part of the Virender Sehwag-led Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup and sees the match as another opportunity for him to push for a place in the Test squad. He had an average Ranji season - 304 runs from six matches - but scored four consecutive half-centuries in the recent one-dayers against England and was the man of the series. Raina hopes to translate this form to the longer version ahead of the Australia Tests.

"I have been scoring runs in last 10 matches," Raina said. "This is the chance. I need to do well in this game; then I can come back to the Test team."

Raina is one of the players who have been in line for the No. 6 spot in Tests, but hasn't been able to maximise his opportunities. He said though, that he is looking to be more solid in his game.

"I did well initially in the West Indies but didn't get runs against England (in England, 2011). I have been batting well. I need to be more solid and mentally stronger."

The Irani Cup match features a number of players aiming to stake their claims for the Test team ahead of the Australia series that starts on February 22.

"It's an important game. If you look at the last series, we didn't play well against England in Test matches. You have got the best team from Mumbai and all the players in Rest of India are trying to make a comeback. Viru bhai [Sehwag] is leading us, so his experience is there for us.

"Paaji [Sachin Tendulkar] is playing in the other team . They have [Wasim] Jaffer and Ajit Agarkar has captained well. We have all youngsters in our team. Our coach, Vikram Rathore told us to just enjoy the game. This is a good challenge before the Australia series."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 7, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    And Today He scored a century against Mumbai . A rare knock from Raina . He can be tried for first two sets . If he fails , He must say Bye Bye to test cricket ....

  • RK on February 6, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    Funny Mr. Raina! 17 tests - 29 innings - 768 runs; 80 first class matches - 133 innings - 5175 runs @ an average of 41 runs - mere 10 centuries in all 133 innings he played and he feels he deserves to play tests and wasn't given enough opportunities. Isn't that funny really? What would then someone like Badrinath would say? Someone with figures like, 111 first class matches - 158 innings - 8238 runs @ an average of more than 60 runs - 29 centuries... Didn't Badri deserve more than mere 2 tests? Isn't he better equipped than the Rainas, Yuvis and Rohits to play longer format? But poor Badri! didn't have a God father..... Let Raina not try to put forward his case with mere loud mouth. He simply doesn't have it in him to play tests. and, that's it!

  • Birsha on February 6, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    I'm not sure why he is saying he has got "just 17 test matches" that is more than ample opportunity, given the likes of Rahane, Badrinath, Bist, Rohit Sharma and others who have been outperforming Raina in the 4 day scene for the last 3-4 years have yet to debut (except Badri with 2 tests).

    I also think alot of these guys would benefit from a season of county cricket. But of course the BCCI would never allow someone like Raina (or Ishant) to have a stint in england where he can play cricket day in day out in conditions unfamiliar to him and come back stronger. I also doubt these days Raina would want to put himself out of his comfort zone that much, which is sad.

  • vishwas on February 6, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    i feel raina should be in squad not for his batting but he brings soem kind of activeness in team..... but considering his batting against pace and in ouside sub continent, he is not good for test... not atleast now.... and coming to lakshman's place... no one can replace him just like dravid, ganguly, but one man we can consdier for that spot is TIWARY. he is fit to be in that place... and we can groom RAHANE for opener along with MUKUND....and after sachin's place is vacant, KOHLI can go up and Rohit sharma can join the squad.....

  • Sai on February 5, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    Its not rahane .. and definetly not tired and discarded Raina or Yuvraj for the 6th position.. its Rohit Sharma who should be playing the VVS spot ... they both are similar players .. both good on leg and off side and play pull or hook at will ... Had rohit didnot get injured when he was all set to debut in a test match .. he would have cemented his place ... Rohit, pujara, Kohli should make a solid middle order....

  • R on February 5, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    Raina is a gutsy player. Far better than that useless Yuvraj, who simply can't play spin. Pees in his pants at the mere sight of an off-spinner. Raina should have been in the Indian team during the England series & should be in the playing eleven against the Aussies.

  • mahesh on February 5, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    i have seen him in lots of first class matches he is that kind of a batsman who will keep trying to score he cant adapt to grind for long which is a big necessity in test matches hence i dont see him getting much success in longer format though i wil b happy if he proves me wrong!

  • Par on February 5, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    @pandez. exactly my thoughts. Hussey started when he was older than this guy and ended up playing 75 odd test matches. So wy is this news worthy ? at age of 26 going from 17 to 50 tests means playing average 4 tests for 8 years. Why would a committed test player be wanting toplay only these many tests ? Is it because he is not pathetic enough away from continent. Statements from Raina (non test material) and bhajji (a washout, who claims his 4.0 rpo in tests should be applauded even if he cant take wickets). It is called "making right noises", these fellows will score few runs again Mum, maybe take couple wickets and suddenly be back in test frame, due to their "dedication to game".

  • thomas on February 5, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    Raina understandably wants to come back, but should others who have been performing be given a shot. Be it Rahane or Badri or Jaffer. If Jaffer is selected Sehwag can move down the order...