Suresh Raina (left) and Sachin Tendulkar © AFP
Suresh Raina (left) and Sachin Tendulkar © AFP

When you sit to chalk out an all-time India XI in limited-overs cricket, Suresh Raina is bound to be a name up for consideration. An explosive batter, a brilliant fielder and an effective off-spinner, Raina has played over 300 international games for India. Raina now finds himself out of all 3 formats of the national team and, during such a lowly phase, Sachin Tendulkar came to his rescue. ALSO READ: Once upon a time, when MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina slept on floor

In an interview with Indian Express, Raina mentioned on how Tendulkar spared time for the former’s batting despite his busy schedule. In 2014, Tendulkar worked with Virat Kohli as well, and the improvement in batting was there to be seen. “I was feeling low in between, so I messaged him (Tendulkar) one day saying, ‘I want to come to Mumbai. Can you spend sometime with me?’ Despite his busy calendar he spared some time for me. I spent a few days with Sachin-paaji, I practiced with him for three hours daily. He told me I am batting well, my feet are moving nicely. I am looking more compact. I saw the videos, my head position is coming nicely.”

Raina admitted that he made small tweaks in his technique and it always helps when a senior advices for the good. In 2014, Raina had also taken suggestion on batting from Sourav Ganguly and had a fruitful run.

“You have to make small tweaks now and then. As sometimes you don’t realise that your game has changed. That is why you need someone who can tell you that you are going wrong this way, or you are doing good in this area. I remember the last time when I went to England, I had few sessions with Sachin paaji and I scored hundred in first game in England. Paaji is the most technically right cricketer and his words are always precious. I remember Ravi bhai (Ravi Shastri) coming to me in England and saying, ‘You are looking good, everything seems to be going well’”, added Raina.

Didn’t fail the yo-yo test?

There were media reports that Raina and Yuvraj Singh had failed to clear the yo-yo test at the National Cricket Academy and accordingly were excluded from India’s limited-overs squad in Sri Lanka. Raina, who is now captaining India Blue in the Duleep Trophy 2017, rubbished the claims.

“It was all made up by media. If I had failed any test, I would have been told by the board and the trainer. It will be unfair for me to talk about it. For four to five months, I have really worked hard on my fitness. I have lost more than five kilos.