Suresh Raina has said he wants to establish himself as Test batsman, the only format in which he has not nailed down a spot in India's batting order. Raina, the only Indian to have scored a century in all three international formats, attributed his inability to cement a Test spot to his lack of opportunities.
"I have been doing consistently well in ODIs and T20s. Even in the IPL, I scored runs," Raina told Hindustan Times. "It's true that I didn't do well in three innings in Test cricket in 2012. It was the same story in 2015, but that doesn't mean I am not experienced enough to be in the Test side.
"I have not been given enough chances to prove my calibre as a Test cricketer. You can't judge a player on the basis of just one match after a hectic series of one-day and T20 games. I am not asking for five Test matches to prove myself. Give me two-three games. And if I don't perform, drop me forever."
After scoring a century on Test debut in Colombo in 2010, Raina has played just 18 Tests spread over four stints. His maiden stint lasted eight matches, when he was dropped after the first Test in South Africa in 2010; he had made 32 runs in six innings.
He was drafted back into the side for India's three-Test series in the West Indies in 2011. In seven consecutive Tests - three in the Caribbean followed by four in England - he managed 337 runs in 13 innings at 25.92. Sandeep Patil then took over as the selection-panel chairman and the new committee moved on to consider Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane to fill the open slot in India's batting order.
Raina made a surprise comeback for the two-Test series in New Zealand in 2012 but made just 58 runs. His last comeback to the Test team was the most disastrous of all, a pair in Sydney earlier this year.
Since then Raina appears to have faded from the selectors' radar for the longest format, having not even been considered for India A's ongoing series against Australia A. Raina, however, is confident he has it in him to make a good Test cricketer.
"I am sure I have the ability to be a consistent performer at Test level, but it's just a matter of getting the chance to do so," Raina said. "Before gearing up for the World T20, I will focus on my Test comeback.
"Ahead of the World Twenty20, I have plenty of opportunities to play in the longer version of the game, especially in the Ranji Trophy in October-November before we tour Australia in January for an away series.
"The domestic games will give me a platform to show my calibre and stake claim for a recall to the Test side. I am desperate for this. The Test series against South Africa in India will allow me to play at least four-five Ranji games for UP."