Millennium Post

‘Won’t let another chance go abegging’

He could not capitalise on the opportunities to cement a place in India’s Test squad but Suresh Raina reckons that he has now matured as a batsman and is just waiting for another chance to prove his worth in the middle order.

Regarded as a one-day specialist, Raina has been a regular in India’s one-day team for long but his Test career could not really take off as he could manage just 768 runs for an average of 28.44 in 17 Tests. ‘I have worked on my batting. If I get a chance to play Tests again, I won’t let it go unaccounted for sure. My career is shaping up well. I am hitting the ball well at the moment. I am waiting for another chance and this time I am confident of performing well,’ Raina said on the sidelines of a promotional programme on Thursday.

‘I have done pretty well in recent matches and I would like to stage a comeback. I don’t have a grudge, I don’t feel that somebody else has taken my place in the (Test) team. As long as the team is winning, I am a happy man,’ he said. The national selectors’ decision to ignore Raina for the ongoing four-Test series against Australia came as a surprise as the left-hander had amassed 277 runs at an average of 92.33 in the ODI series against England. He struck form for the Rest of India squad in their Irani Trophy tie against Ranji champions Mumbai, hitting a classy hundred (134) in the first innings and then followed it up by scoring an equally impressive half century in the second essay.

Raina had lost his place in the Test team after an unimpressive show in the two-Test series against New Zealand in September and was subsequently not considered for the four-Test rubber against England.

For the ongoing Australia series, which India lead by 2-0, the selectors have preferred Ravindra Jadeja over him. ‘I am happy for Ravindra Jadeja, he is playing really well. He had scored a lot of runs (in the domestic season),’ he said.

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