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India vs England 1st ODI at Bristol: India need to show character, says Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina © Getty Images
Suresh Raina has joined Indian team in England for ODI series © Getty Images

London: Aug 24, 2014

Claiming to have done his bit to infuse some positivity into the beleaguered Indian cricket team, One-Day International (ODI) specialist Suresh Raina says the side will have to show character to get over the Test debacle and clinch the limited overs series starting on Monday.

“The team is going through a difficult phase right now and it is time for us to show character. It can be difficult sometimes to move on from such defeat but you have to fight your way out of it when you’re playing at the international level,” Raina told bcci.tv.

“The new players will bring freshness in the squad which will help the guys who have been here for the Tests regain the positivity. They are striving to learn from their mistakes and we will add fresh spirit,” he said.

India were humiliated 1-3 in the Test series — the last two defeats coming inside three days. Raina said he always tries to bring positivity and exuberance in the camp.

“I always try to maintain the cheerfulness in the team, on and off the field. I am the first person to run to the bowler or fielder when a wicket falls. Small things like running to the bowler at fine leg or third man to fetch his sweater can make a huge difference in the team’s atmosphere,” he said.

“It is contagious — when one player starts doing it, another follows, and before you know the whole team is pumping with energy and high spirits. This energy takes time to build — sometimes four overs, at times 10 overs. To create that atmosphere someone has to take a lead and make that extra effort. Everyone is either thinking about their own batting or bowling,” he added.

“If I just stand there minding my own business, everyone will just go through the motions. But if I go and pat someone, he will come and do the same when I do something good. That creates a positive aura around in the field, makes you feel lighter and lifts everyone around. That is something that’s in my hands and something I have been doing for the last 10 years,” said Raina.

Asked about his preparations before heading to England, Raina said he took tips from Sachin Tendulkar.

“He [Tendulkar] came there to play badminton and since Arjun [Tendulkar's son] practiced in the nets there, Sachin paaji came to give him some tips. I went up to him and asked how should go about things in England.

“I had a lot of conversations with him mainly on the mental side of things. I also worked with [Pravin] Amre sir there at the BKC on various aspects of my batting,” he said.

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