| Suresh Raina, on way to his half-century, on Saturday |
Bangalore: Suresh Raina believes that the key to India’s success lies in doing well in the first session on the third day of the second Test.
“I think the there wouldn’t be a big change in the pitch tomorrow. So, it will be important that Virat (Kohli) and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni carry on their good work tomorrow morning… They need to make sure that they have to see off the new ball. If they can manage to do that, we could have a big total at our hands. Getting a competitive total is very crucial to our fortunes.”
Raina scored a half-century in Tests after a year. Asked whether there was any pressure on him to do well, he said: “I didn’t do well in England last year and I didn’t get a chance to play until the first Test against New Zealand. During that period, I played a lot of domestic matches and performed well. Now, that I’m back into the Test team, I’m seeing this as an opportunity to score as many runs and cement my place in the side. I would like to become a permanent member of the Test side, I think I’m getting better by the day,” he said.
Raina went to bat with the score on 80 for four. Partnering Virat Kohli, he put on 99 runs for the fifth wicket stand. Asked about their strategy, he said: “I went in the middle with a positive frame of mind. Whenever I got the ball in my area I made sure to hit it… I tried to do a (Ross) Taylor… He really went after our bowling the other day… So I wanted to follow the same style.
“We looked to play positively and decided to play the balls according to their merit… At that time, Tim Southee and Trent Boult were bowling well and getting reverse swing. So, it was important to hang in there.”
The duo scored a lot of runs off spinner Jeetan Patel. Raina said there was no conscious plan to attack him. “Virat asked me to stay calm and play my natural game… He felt that if we hit him too much, Ross might replace him. At the same time, he told me to keep the scoreboard ticking.”
Raina said it was disappointing to get out in the same manner for the second time in the series. “It’s unfortunate for me to get out twice in the same manner, I’m very disappointed.”