Suresh Raina credits the former Indian captain for his successful return to the national team

Suresh Raina credits the former Indian captain for his successful return to the national team

He has retained his place in the Indian side for the upcoming T20I series against Ireland and England.

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina (Photo Source: Twitter)

Suresh Raina made a comeback into the Indian T20 side earlier this year for South Africa tour following his return to the form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. The stylish left-hander not being part of the team has always been the debatable point as he was dropped from the side despite performing well. He had also reportedly failed to clear the Yo-Yo test which has become mandatory to feature in the national side. However, he made a successful return to the Blue jersey with some brilliant performances and credits the former Indian captain for the same.

Raina had last played for India in any format in January 2016 and was then sidelined due to his fitness and form. But much like the champion players do, he fought hard and after a poor Ranji season, struck form in the domestic T20 tournament when he smashed 126 runs against Bengal in Kolkata. At the same time, he cleared the Yo-Yo- fitness test as well which opened the doors of the Indian team ahead of South Africa tour for him, albeit in the shortest format.

Pep talk with Dada helped

Suresh Raina, in an interview to Times of India, recalled the tough times when he was away from Team India and how an important knock against Bengal changed things for him. “It was an important knock (126* against Bengal). I was representing my state and I hadn’t gotten among the runs. I was getting out on the first or the second ball, so scoring a hundred against Bengal in Kolkata came at the right time and it was very pleasing,” he said.

Though he also credited the Sourav Ganguly whose inspiring words after that game helped him do well in South Africa and Sri Lanka.”After the match, I and Harbhajan [Singh] went to Sourav Ganguly’s place for dinner. We had a discussion about how he made a comeback to the Indian team in 2006. I was in the same boat as his back then. That pep talk was extremely helpful and luckily, I was drafted back into the T20 team and did well against South Africa and Sri Lanka,” Raina added.

He is currently playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the ongoing IPL season and has done well by scoring over 300 runs at a strike-rate of 135. He has also retained his place for the T20I series against England and Ireland late next month. Raina will now be eager to come back into the ODI side ahead of the World Cup next year in the same country.

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