Sri Lanka v India, 4th ODI, Colombo July 30, 2012

Raina seeks promotion to boost Test chances


A couple of days after winning India a game with an unbeaten fifty at No. 6, Suresh Raina has said he wants to bat higher up the order in ODIs so that he can score hundreds and make a case for a Test comeback. Raina, who has played 15 Tests, was ignored for India's home series against West Indies and the tour of Australia after averaging 13.12 in four Tests in England in mid-2011.

"I would love to [move up the order]," Raina said. "If I get to bat up the order I can play more overs and score more hundreds. I have scored only three [ODI] hundreds in my career. I need to play longer innings and score more runs [so that] I can come back into the Test team. Wherever I get a chance to bat, at No. 4, 5 or 6, I have to bat anywhere."

Raina started with a century on Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2010 but has been criticized for failing to tackle the short ball in the format. He said he had been working on the weakness and pointed out that of his eight Test dismissals in England, four had been to the offspinner Graeme Swann.

"I have been discussing my batting with Duncan Fletcher (the coach). In Twenty20 and 50 overs you have to play your shots. I am now looking to duck the [short] ball. At the same time I need to score runs, [so I need to] tap the ball and take singles. It's all mental. If you are playing Test cricket, you have to duck the ball. In England I did not do well. I got out once to the short ball and four-five times to Swann. Still, I have done well in Test cricket. I need to do well in two more [ODI] games and then I can be available for the No. 6 or No. 7 slot [in Tests]."

Raina, who has developed a reputation as a fine finisher in limited-overs cricket, credited his "tough days" at the sports hostel in Lucknow for his calm approach under pressure in big games. "[The hostel] didn't have good facilities. But we would get good inputs and we would practise from that. And we learnt that whatever chances we got, we would remain tough. If we got to bat in pressure situations, we would make sure that we finished the job. I have learnt a lot about middle-order batting from Yuvraj [Singh] and [MS] Dhoni. Dhoni and I have been successful as a pair while chasing."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kai on July 31, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    @ Positive_Critic: Talk for yourself, mate.

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Shewag should bat at no 4.

  • sadhasivan on July 31, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    well done suresh.i hope you do get the recognition you deserve especially the indian press who only care for people who score 100s and records.surely one of the better finishers in world cricket.

  • Mradul on July 31, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Mahela Jayawardene has an avg of below 40 when playing outside subcontinent yet he is loved and praised by every SL fan. This fact doesnt take it away from Jaya that he is one of the top players in world cricket today. Why can't we Indians appreciate our own players? Raina just won us 2 matches (1st and 3rd ODI) by scoring briskly in the last few overs yet he is not good enough, why? @srinideva: why drag Sachin here? How do you decide he played for himself and not for the country? In the matches that India has Won Rahul Dravid never ever scored a 4th inning century, Sachin did yet he plays for himself. In the 3rd and 4th innings of tests Sachin has scored 8 100s to either save or Win match for India, Dravid scored 6 yet he plays for the country and Sachin doesnt? All Sachin said earlier was to boost the morale of a young struggling cricketer, what's wrong in that? Bradman also said the same thing about Sachin some time ago, while Gavaskar says that all the time...

  • Tanmay on July 31, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    he should bat at 6...he won India the World Cup q/f & s/f coming at 7...he is handy down the order...once Yuvraj comes back even Rohit will be thrown out automatically...the only thing concerns when will Manoj Tiwary & Ajinkya Rahane get chances to showcase their talent ?

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Raina should bat up the order and monoj tiwary should bat at number 6 position, rohit sharma should take a break now.

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    He should sure be given chance to prove his potential by batting up the order. Have always wanted to see Raina bat up the order a few times.

  • Satish on July 31, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    @ultimatewarrior : I don't agree that Raina performs only in SC.. But that is a different thing.. What is wrong if someone performs in subcontinent or so called flat tracks? A batsman doesn't have rights to score on track which aids him? Then how should we look into the loads of wickets the legendary fast bowlers from WI, Aus, Eng and SA took as they were taken on tracks with pace and bounce? Should we label the bowlers as "Green track" or "Fast track" bowlers? Look at the pressure when the guy comes in to bat and how well he absorbed it and took the team cross the mark.. Lets give credit where its due and not dig out the methods to defame it..

  • kai on July 31, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Raina is a terrific player in ODIs and T20s. In Tests however, he always seems to expect the short ball. If he clutters his mind by obsessing over the short ball, his shot selection will definitely suffer. The England Tests serve as evidence here. It's really good to know that he is working on his weakness. He must be given a chance in Tests. This would show whether he has really improved and has been able to work out a strategy to deal with the short ball. If he passes the test, I am sure he will be leaving those nagging doubts behind and flourish as a Test batsman. India needs brilliant Test players and Raina clearly has the ability to be one of them.

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    Raina is a Talented cricketer.I like his dedication and will power even in tough situations.He has done well for CSK for 5 years.In India there is a habit of labelling a person for lifetime.A sportsperson evolves like any human being during his career, so it is dynamic what was true y'day maynot stand true today or tomorrow.So why not give Raina a fair chance before writing him off.If you put him in a test match situation for say 8-10 matches maybe he will fail initially but there is a good chance that he can learn thru experience and improve and come good later for a longer period.Invest and then reap the benefits. I am a Raina and CSK fan.

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