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

Raina seeks promotion to boost Test chances

19

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

  • kaidranzer on July 31, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    @ Positive_Critic: Talk for yourself, mate.

  • on July 31, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Shewag should bat at no 4.

  • sadha1972 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.

  • mrgupta 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...

  • tanstell87 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 ?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • satish619chandar 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..

  • kaidranzer 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.

  • 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.

  • kaidranzer on July 31, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    @ Positive_Critic: Talk for yourself, mate.

  • on July 31, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Shewag should bat at no 4.

  • sadha1972 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.

  • mrgupta 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...

  • tanstell87 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 ?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • satish619chandar 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..

  • kaidranzer 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.

  • 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.

  • ravir111 on July 31, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Ambati Raidu is better than raina in test cricket,He is tecnically better than raina and rohit.Raina is suitable only for t20 and oneday cricket.i hope ambati will get chance in indian test team.

  • Positive_Critic on July 31, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    It really funny but seriously we always criticize selectors... do we really think we are tht good ourselves.. we fans are so fickle minded..Right after the England series most of us concluded that Raina is not test material... And just after a good knock in familiar conditions in SL, now we want him back in the test side... Hilarious... I really do believe the only guy who deserves the chance in the test side now is Cheteshwar Pujara... Raina does not have the temperament for hanging around in tests.. Pujara has it and sud be given a long run, without being under the threat of being dropped... Everyone got it... Virat, Rohit, Raina now it has to be Pujara but I am sure we would not try him out.. Based on good ODI performances we will select Raina over Pujara in the tests that are going to b played in India.. In India raina will score lots of runs and then we take him to Overseas conditions he will fail again AND the history will be repeated...

  • on July 31, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Before Raina or Rohit, Rahane should be given an opportunity to bat at 1 or 2 for India. I am surprised Dhoni's pup doesn't get a chance to play test cricket!

  • veerakannadiga on July 31, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    good luck Raina.. we are with you in whatever you do. you have one rare quality (lacking in some players) i.e. you always give your 100% for the team's/country's cause.

  • srinideva on July 31, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    Sachin says " Rohit is going to break his record of most runs and centuries" but he himself said that he don`t care about the personal milestone and individuals record. When a player still playing for his country, no need to make a statement like this. this will hurt the other player feelings as well. Once upon a time in my school days, i used to say, i don`t care india wins or lost, what i want is a big score from this man because i thought he played hard for his country not for himself. But looking at current scenarios i am totally felt angry about my self.

  • ultimatewarrior on July 31, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    My dear Abhishek please try to understand that Raina has just performed so far in Indian subcontinent and for that I appreciate him also but test team can only have best 11 players and he do not have best techniques for test. I think instead of giving him 15 tests if selectors had given chance to rahane / rohit sharma / pujara 5 tests each later had produced better results than raina....Further rahane / rohit sharma had given first chances in ODI/T20 but they are more capable 5 day players...why not bcci want to understood the nature of a cricketer..

  • srinideva on July 31, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Raina should bat higher in the batting order. He may haven`t scored many centuries but his contributions to the team is always more than 100%. He actually batted at 3 once upon a time. When youngsters like kohli comes in the playing 11. Some one needs to bat at lower down the order. So raina,yuvraj and dhoni himself batted at the end to provide a good oppurtunity for the new one to face the earlier part which is having less pressure and also have enough time to settle and construct a inns. This is man is big occassion player who always perform When it is really needed. And as for as rohit sharma concern , he better to go and practice for Champions league for his club (MI) Where his master sachin will teach him, how to score a century even the cost of team success>>>bravo bravo>> God saves indian cricket....

  • on July 31, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    I seriously feel, that he should be in our test team. Mainly because, his willingness to improve as a batsman and possible contributions he can make for the team.

    He seems to be working on his weakness - of not being able to tackle the short ball. That's what we need. Nobody is perfect. Sehwag has technical lapses and when he gets out they look ugly. Gambhir had a hard time facing a bouncer on the off stump in Australia and frequently gave simple catches to slip. Point is everyone has some weakness but Raina surely works harder than most to get rid of the weakness and hence deserves a chance in test side.

  • Haleos on July 31, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Good luck Raina. He is much better than over hyped VVS who need tail enders to save him so that he can remain not out in the end and world treats him as a Savior. Every one was found wanting in England barring Rahul then why did BCCI ignore only Raina. VVS should have been dropped as well. A big liability in the fielding department as well and greedy to not step down.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Haleos on July 31, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Good luck Raina. He is much better than over hyped VVS who need tail enders to save him so that he can remain not out in the end and world treats him as a Savior. Every one was found wanting in England barring Rahul then why did BCCI ignore only Raina. VVS should have been dropped as well. A big liability in the fielding department as well and greedy to not step down.

  • on July 31, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    I seriously feel, that he should be in our test team. Mainly because, his willingness to improve as a batsman and possible contributions he can make for the team.

    He seems to be working on his weakness - of not being able to tackle the short ball. That's what we need. Nobody is perfect. Sehwag has technical lapses and when he gets out they look ugly. Gambhir had a hard time facing a bouncer on the off stump in Australia and frequently gave simple catches to slip. Point is everyone has some weakness but Raina surely works harder than most to get rid of the weakness and hence deserves a chance in test side.

  • srinideva on July 31, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Raina should bat higher in the batting order. He may haven`t scored many centuries but his contributions to the team is always more than 100%. He actually batted at 3 once upon a time. When youngsters like kohli comes in the playing 11. Some one needs to bat at lower down the order. So raina,yuvraj and dhoni himself batted at the end to provide a good oppurtunity for the new one to face the earlier part which is having less pressure and also have enough time to settle and construct a inns. This is man is big occassion player who always perform When it is really needed. And as for as rohit sharma concern , he better to go and practice for Champions league for his club (MI) Where his master sachin will teach him, how to score a century even the cost of team success>>>bravo bravo>> God saves indian cricket....

  • ultimatewarrior on July 31, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    My dear Abhishek please try to understand that Raina has just performed so far in Indian subcontinent and for that I appreciate him also but test team can only have best 11 players and he do not have best techniques for test. I think instead of giving him 15 tests if selectors had given chance to rahane / rohit sharma / pujara 5 tests each later had produced better results than raina....Further rahane / rohit sharma had given first chances in ODI/T20 but they are more capable 5 day players...why not bcci want to understood the nature of a cricketer..

  • srinideva on July 31, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    Sachin says " Rohit is going to break his record of most runs and centuries" but he himself said that he don`t care about the personal milestone and individuals record. When a player still playing for his country, no need to make a statement like this. this will hurt the other player feelings as well. Once upon a time in my school days, i used to say, i don`t care india wins or lost, what i want is a big score from this man because i thought he played hard for his country not for himself. But looking at current scenarios i am totally felt angry about my self.

  • veerakannadiga on July 31, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    good luck Raina.. we are with you in whatever you do. you have one rare quality (lacking in some players) i.e. you always give your 100% for the team's/country's cause.

  • on July 31, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Before Raina or Rohit, Rahane should be given an opportunity to bat at 1 or 2 for India. I am surprised Dhoni's pup doesn't get a chance to play test cricket!

  • Positive_Critic on July 31, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    It really funny but seriously we always criticize selectors... do we really think we are tht good ourselves.. we fans are so fickle minded..Right after the England series most of us concluded that Raina is not test material... And just after a good knock in familiar conditions in SL, now we want him back in the test side... Hilarious... I really do believe the only guy who deserves the chance in the test side now is Cheteshwar Pujara... Raina does not have the temperament for hanging around in tests.. Pujara has it and sud be given a long run, without being under the threat of being dropped... Everyone got it... Virat, Rohit, Raina now it has to be Pujara but I am sure we would not try him out.. Based on good ODI performances we will select Raina over Pujara in the tests that are going to b played in India.. In India raina will score lots of runs and then we take him to Overseas conditions he will fail again AND the history will be repeated...

  • ravir111 on July 31, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Ambati Raidu is better than raina in test cricket,He is tecnically better than raina and rohit.Raina is suitable only for t20 and oneday cricket.i hope ambati will get chance in indian test team.

  • 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.