New Delhi:Suresh Raina has learnt that making a comeback into the Indian team after being dropped is never easy. He spent virtually the whole of 2007 and early part of this year out after a drop in form saw him miss the bus to last year's World Cup. But after some impressive performances in domestic cricket and the DLF IPL, the 21-year old from Ghaziabad made a strong comeback, repaying the selector's faith in him. The road ahead looks good for him.
Raina's batting heroics in the DLF Indian Premier league played an important role in taking the Chennai Super Kings to the final of the inaugural tournament. His 421 runs in 16 matches was no mean feat and that opened the doors of Team India once again for the left-hander.
"I was happy with the way I played in the IPL and I got runs during the domestic season. I had a good Asia Cup in Pakistan. Seniors like MS Dhoni and Yuvraj have been very helpful towards us youngsters with their batting tips," said Raina.
Raina showed that 16 months out in the wilderness hadn't dented his confidence. He ended up being the highest scorer for India in the Asia Cup with two hundreds. But what made everyone stand up and take notice was the way he handled Ajantha Mendis in Sri Lanka. His partnerships with MS Dhoni went a long way in helping India win their first ever bi-lateral ODI series in the emerald island.
"I was playing him like a leg spinner and that helped me check his off spin deliveries. His wicket- taking ball was leg spin for me and that's why I had decided that I would play him like a leg-spinner and check his googly. I was playing him more towards mid-on and mid-off and of course I got a lot of advice from Viru and from Dhoni, both of whom played him very well," added the cricketer from Uttar Pradesh.
Raina was one player whom former India coach Greg Chappell always had praise for and with no one-dayers from now till November, he'll have to be on his toes to repeat his performance against England.