ICC World Twenty20 2010 May 5, 2010

Raina more than capable of handling short ball - Fleming

Cricinfo staff

Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings coach, has attributed Suresh Raina's impressive show in the IPL and the ongoing World Twenty20 to his determination and effort to combat his weakness against the short ball, which was exposed in England last year. Raina was the third-highest run-getter in the IPL and was the Man of the Match in the final, which Chennai won. He followed that up with a 59-ball century against South Africa in St Lucia to seal India's place in the Super Eights.

"He knew that he would be attacked with short balls and I felt he is more than equipped to deal with it," Fleming told Daily News and Analysis. "I just had to make him realise his strengths. He went on to turn the so-called weakness into his strength.

"We have worked out plans on the areas where we thought he might be attacked. He tried hard at the nets with rising balls to make the right adjustments. He is a hard trier."

The adjustments Raina has had to make have not affected his strengths, Fleming said. "That's what good players do. Improvement in one area cannot be allowed to lead to deterioration in another area."

Fleming also credited Gary Kirsten for Raina's improvement and said his own role had been to concentrate on the mental aspect of Raina's game. "Suresh has been working on this with Gary Kirsten. My duty has been to facilitate and organise the facilities needed for him to work on those areas. More specifically I worked on the mental part of Suresh and his Twenty20 game. I've advised him on what frame of mind he should be in a Twenty20 format.

"Success breeds confidence. The range of shots he plays is a kind of expression of himself. He is able to play them because of his new-found confidence. His level of confidence matches his abilities. He is very positive and is not afraid of playing shots.

"He is very hard to bowl to I'd imagine. At this stage, Suresh is well ahead of his age in cricket. I was not even half as talented at that stage."

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  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Among all the new guys in Indian Cricket, this guy has an amazing temperament.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    Raina is awesome!! I love watching him play w his style of batting and his superb enthusiam mixed w athleticism in the field. Raina has a bright future in cricket ahead of him. He will make his way into tests, all in time.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    He is proving it, he can handle the short balls. You all want proof guys, 100 in Ind vs SA T20 worldcup match. He was tested with short balls from the first delivery. But he first managed to survey them and started hitting them once he had enough grip. This kid is improving. For sure he will one of the future indian cricket.

    All teh best Young Gun.

  • Jomesh on May 6, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    All the best Raina! You are certainly one of the future of Indian batting. Remember that technique can be worked upon: (you are still young) -but talent is in-born. Most of the great batsmen have had problems with quick, aggressive short-pitched bowling...But the greats find a way to work their way out of it. Someone like Steve Waugh just stopped playing hooks/pulls. Viv Richards chose to attack...Its just a matter of figuring out what's best for you. The most important part of batting is to keep your balance, whatever shots you play...A solid footwork will ensure this.So my sincere advice to Raina would be to concentrate on the footwork, practice playing the short ball & full ball at random. How you play the short ball in practice sessions (whether it is aggressive/defensively) should be replicated in live match situation. Remember: The fall of many batsmen to short pitch bowling is because they try differently in match situations.

  • Siddhant on May 6, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    It was wrong in the first place to go after raina after england t20,because except for dravid and sachin who else has ever stood up to seaming and bouncy conditions of england and south africa??poor raina just became the excuse for India getting kicked out of the tournament!

  • V.L on May 6, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    Why do test match fanatics poke their nose into every article about t20. I think fancric is from a town which does not have an IPL team or he wants to see batsman like Sanjay Manjerekar play t20!

  • Girik on May 6, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    @Amit, your comment doesn't actually make sense. Fleming says that Raina is now capable of handling the short ball (we will see how valid is statement is very soon) after working with him in the IPL. Fleiming can't claim plaudits beforehand since they have hardly worked together, perhaps only in IPL 2.

    @FanCric please calm down. If you like T20 you don't have to follow the current tournament or the IPL. Yes of course Test cricket is the ultimate game but facing a 150km/h short ball is just as hard in T20 as long as the pitch is sporting and the grounds are not small. It might be even harder since there is pressure on the batsman to always score runs. In Tests you can duck the bouncer to preserve your wicket. I guess this would be offset though by the fact that the number of of short balls the batsman will receive is less. But it is clear that a good short ball can destroy a batting line-up in any form of the game.

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    Raina is a class act in the shorter version of the game. But he has still not been tested on bouncy tracks. Also , it remains to be seen if he can be a sucessful test player.

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    As Sunny Gavaskar points out several times - its hard to understand why do the foreign coaches queue up to claim plaudits when some Indian player succeeds? Where were these guys when Raina was a non-entity?

  • Madhusudhan on May 5, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    Well there are Cricket Fans who are not fool enough to judge a cricketer on basis of performance in Stupid, Rubbish, Non-Sense IPL. A real cricketer is one who consistently performs in Test Cricket at International Level on all kind of tracks for many years.

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