‘Toss to play big role in Dharamsala’
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian side will take on South Africa in the first T20 on Friday, which will mark the start of the 72-day long series comprising three T20Is, five ODIs and four Test matches. Raina believes the team stands <g data-gr-id="47">confident</g> after the recent win on Sri Lankan soil after 22 years.
“After beating Sri Lanka on their soil, Team India is enjoying high spirits. And as the team is undergoing a <g data-gr-id="49">week long</g> <g data-gr-id="48">traing</g> camp after 7-8 years before the start of a new series, the team is perfectly fit to face South Africa. The series shall be very interesting,” Raina said in a media interaction having acclimatised to the high altitude atmosphere of the scenic ground.
“Toss is going to be the major factor here as the ball moves a lot during late hours. But it is not going to bother us as we are getting accustomed to the conditions,” said the left-handed batsman.
Having represented India in 218 ODIs and 44 T20 matches, in comparison to 18 Tests, Raina is keen to prove his worth in the longer format via his limited-overs performance. “I have a chance in upcoming T20 and ODI matches to prove myself and make a comeback for Test matches,” said the 28-year-old player.
Raina is also flexible while adjusting to his batting order in the young and talented Indian unit and said that whichever position the management desires, he is ready to bat.
Meanwhile <g data-gr-id="45">Ajinke</g> Rahane, who has proved his mettle in the longer format of the game, is also not too bothered about his batting <g data-gr-id="46">psoition</g> in the side.
Rahane, who was also part of the media interaction, said that India have comfortably adjusted to two different <g data-gr-id="42">captain</g> in Tests and limited overs.
“Both Dhoni and Virat Kohli are excellent captains as both work on one goal, that is to take India to the top,” he said.
Rahane insisted that cricket is not an individual sport, but a team game and India have the capability to dominate the visiting South Africans.
Young left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who has represented India in 18 ODIs and two T20 matches, believes that even though turning the ball would be difficult on the fast-paced HPCA ground, the tweakers will get benefitted by the bounce.
Medium pacer Mohit Sharma said that the Indian think-tank has separate plans for South African ODI skipper AB de Villiers.
“We do have plans for AB Villiers. I think we should concentrate on the line and length and must avoid experimenting new areas in pace bowling,” said the Haryana-born player.
“I know <g data-gr-id="41"><g data-gr-id="40">the the</g></g> conditions of Dharamshala ground as I am playing here since U-19 days.” The Indian players are gearing up for the shortest format in a conditioning-cum-practice camp, which had started in Bengaluru and is now being conducted here.