By CricketCountry Staff
Colombo: Jul 29, 2012
Suresh Raina, India’s saviour in the third One-Day International (ODI) feels he has learnt to play under pressure as he helped India chase down a stiff target of 286 runs on Saturday against Sri Lanka.
Chasing a huge total of 287 runs, Raina, along with all-rounder Irfan Pathan stitched a 92-run unbeaten partnership that saw the visitors take a 2-1 lead in the five-match ODI series.
Awarded Man-of-the-match for his unbeaten inning of 65 runs off 45 balls, Raina feels he was confident of reaching the target in the third ODI.
He said,” In the last few years I’ve learnt how to bat in pressure situations when chasing a big target. Gautam Gambhir played really well and set the foundation for us.
“Then Irfan and I came and executed the plan well. I knew if I bat till the last ball, I can easily chase 286.”
The southpaw had to make a few adjustments to his batting on the slower track at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
He was quoted by BCCI’s official website as saying, “I was just looking to play straight and avoid the cross-batted shots. I thought if I get the ball in my areas, I can play over covers or mid-wicket.
“I also made a conscious effort of running hard between the wickets and convert ones into twos, twos into threes. I think we did that very well.”
While terming Irfan’s contribution to India’s win as crucial, Raina added that the all-rounder’s presence in the side creates a right balance in the ODI format.
He said,” Irfan batted really well. He is a genuine batsman for us and with him in the side; we also play with five bowlers. He can bowl 10 overs and score 40-odd crucial runs for us.”
The talented middle-order batsman who plays a key role at No 3 position for his Indian premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) says the position and role in the respective batting orders of CSK and Indian team are different, and that he has learnt to adjust accordingly.
“T20 I generally bat at No.3 and in ODIs I bat at 6 or 7. Both the formats are totally different. In the ODIs I have learnt how to bat in the middle overs,” said Raina.