Mumbai: Once considered as one of India’s most pivotal middle-order batsman and energetic fielders, Suresh Raina is now finding it tough to cement a place in Virat Kohli’s side. The Gujarat batsman recently has been working hard towards his fitness after being busy due to paternity duties.
The southpaw last featured for the Men in Blue during the T20I series against England, back in February. Raina later had a decent spell captaining Indian Premier League (IPL) side Gujarat Lions where he enjoyed decent success.
The fierce batsman was recently rested from the Sri Lanka tour along with Yuvraj Singh, with the likes of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav being shown the green light. After consulting various experts of the game, Raina is also working towards changes in his batting style.
“I just want to tell people that I am working hard and I am not the thanda type. I always believed in hard work. 60% is your hard work and 40% is your luck. Look at Yuvraj, he did the same, he worked very hard and came back.
"Sachin Tendulkar told me very nice things the other day, sab achha hai, you don’t need to prove anyone. You have done so much, you just need to enjoy your cricket. I always made with high intensity. I know my chance will come,” Raina was quoted by The Indian Express.
Despite being out of the cricket scene, the 30-year-old has been very active on social media for which he garnered a lot of criticism.
“Who am I pleasing? It’s my account, I’m doing all hard work. Sometimes we express things which we want to. It’s my life and I'm enjoying it. I have been exploring so many things in life now. You can’t make everyone happy, sometimes you have to see ke aage kya hai (what’s there in future). Social media is used by everyone now and it’s an important tool. Look at the Indian team, everyone posts selfies. It’s not only me who is active on social media,” Raina added.
Raina was recently spotted with Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai during a training session where the Master Blaster is seen giving him inputs.
“I was feeling low in between, so I messaged him one day saying, ‘I want to come to Mumbai. Can you spend some time with me?’ Despite his busy calendar, he spared some time for me. I spent a few days with Sachin Paaji, I practised with him for three hours daily. He told me I am batting well, my feet are moving nicely. I’m looking more compact. I saw the videos, my head position is coming nicely,” the Gujarat Lions skipper explained.
Raina revealed that Sachin’s lessons helped him a long way during India’s tour of England in 2014 and that even current Team India coach Ravi Shastri was pleased with his batting.
”You have to make small tweaks now and then. As sometimes you don’t realise that your game has changed. That is why you need someone who can tell you that you are going wrong this way, or you are doing good in this area.
"I remember the last time when I went to England, I had few sessions with Sachin Paaji and I scored hundred in the first game in England. Paaji is the most technically right cricketer and his words are always precious. I remember Ravi Bhai (Ravi Shastri) coming to me in England and saying, ‘You are looking good, everything seems to be going well,” Raina concluded.
Recently, Team India pacer Mohammed Shami even posted about his successful fitness test conducted at NCA, Bangalore.
Fitness test done well in NCA Bangalore pic.twitter.com/sZDMchh4XI— Mohammed Shami (@MdShami11) September 7, 2017