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Practice paying off: Raina

Christchurch: Suresh Raina, who has been a consistent performer for India on the tour of New Zealand so far, said Saturday that quality practice before the series is the only reason behind his and his teammates’ success.

The following are excerpts

The secret of his excellent performance on the tour so far

We had quality practice before the tour. I think it is really important to prepare yourself before the game. We are coming good now, hopefully it will remain the same.

His plan at the start of the series

It’s good to have the confidence of the coach and the captain. My plan was to just play normally, read the situation and get a partnership going.

If he is now feeling secure about his place in the team

I feel good if I can contribute to the team’s cause. When I was on my way back from injury, the team was packed — there was Robin (Uthappa), Rohit (Sharma). I didn’t play in Australia, I played domestic cricket and worked very hard on my game. This is my opportunity, I feel I can do better.

If the frequent change in the batting order is a problem

I am comfortable with the changes in batting order. As long as the team is doing really well, I don’t mind if I’m playing at three, five or six. At the end of the day, we are winning matches. That is the important thing for us. I don’t think it has an effect on the psyche of batsmen.

His impression on the pitches of New Zealand

It’s good. Not similar to India. It does a bit initially when you go in to bat. You have to hang in there for a while. You can’t just go out and play your shots. You have to select a bowler, read the circumstances, your areas, the opponents’ game plan and what you are doing on the field. It is really important to do proper preparation before the game. You have to know your game better than the opposition.

On playing more shots on the on-side

The grounds are small, so you have to pick your areas. Also, it is important see what lines they are bowling to me. If they bowl more full tosses or yorkers, I am trying to make room and hit the ball in the areas in which I am more comfortable. That’s why you get to see more on-side strokes.

On the chances of winning Sunday

We will try our best. If it doesn’t rain, I am confident we will do well. We batted well in the last match, too. If we can win here, it will be good for the rest of the series.

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